Wall Street Journal complains about workers using their sick days

Originally published at: Wall Street Journal complains about workers using their sick days | Boing Boing


“for reasons such as mental health” aka health.

In this day and age Newspapers should have editorial guidelines prohibiting the framing of mental health as less important than physical health.


Just to be clear: the idea that sick days somehow impose a financial burden of the company is a blatant lie of criminal proportions. It is a justification for wage theft — the most common and most costly form of burglary in America.

When I used to work at a hospital in the 90s, the company would compensate you for any unused hours you earned over time and wanted to sell back, up to a point. After that threshold, it was mandatory. I can’t remember if it was full compensation, but all companies should adopt the policy, at full compensation of course.


Those lucky duckies!

Ruben Bolling just got a free comic strip idea.

an actual article, in the workplace/lifestyle section, not even an op-ed!

It was only a matter of time before Murdoch would release a lunatic from the op-ed psych ward into the straight news section.


saying it lost 10.9% of hourly worker time in 2022 because of unplanned absenteeism

No, you lost nothing. You met all your goals and quotas and targets, and sick days cost you zero except allowing sick workers to stay home and not come make everyone else sick.

This rational is absolutely specious and everyone should scream about it every chance they get. Sick days do NOT cost companies anything in lost productivity, because it’s always made up elsewhere.


I worked a government job. When we retired we got all of our accrued vacation and 1/2 of our accrued sick time paid out. I got a ton of money when I retired because I legitimately wasn’t sick for most of my work life. I did use most of it 15 years in when I had a baby and was able to take 6 months off with pay by using all that vacation and sick time. Sick time is part of your compensation and belongs to the employee, not the employer. Any employer complaining about employees using sick time is the one trying to steal from employees, not the ones who use their sick leave when needed.


This is only technically different from criticizing workers for cashing their paychecks. Sick leave is a part of the contractual benefits that they agreed to pay. If the workers do not take it, they are basically doing volunteer work for the company. Unless they are compensated for unused sick days, of course. It’s a bad look for the management to go with. “I know we agreed to pay you $x for your labor, but I just cannot believe that you actually expect us to pay you that!” is basically what this is. @knoxblox, where I work we have the same policy for hourly workers. At the end of the year, any PTO hours you cannot carry over, you get paid for. This is how it really should be.


This mentality is the core of the issue. It is just the same as how companies who receive subsidies that they should never have gotten go crying to the Fed that their balance sheets won’t add up if they’re removed or reduced. You shouldn’t be drafting your budget and profit targets based on things you’ve historically been extracting from external sources. If you can’t make a profit based on straight margin, you shouldn’t be in business. To see workers and their needs as a “liability” is reprehensible.

It’s also worth pointing out that there are loads of companies who have been very successful and profitable despite writing human health, safety and ecological sensitivity right into their business plan.


Maybe it’s time to take a step back and think about how messed up it is to promote a policy where workers have a limited number of days they are “allowed” to be sick.

I rarely take sick days, but that is because I have been lucky enough to stay relatively healthy. If a person is sick for two weeks straight then they shouldn’t be expected to go to work for those two weeks. Illness isn’t something that can of should be scheduled like vacation days.


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And people get penalised if they happen to take more than their two weeks of sick time. Okay, I get it, two weeks paid leave and after that no pay, but some employers take it as if you are now a liability and should be shot like a lame horse, if not simply fired. People very rarely - VERY rarely - get sick on purpose.


I used to drag myself into work when I was sick because I felt that I was indispensable. When I got older, I was not as convinced of my own importance and I listened to my coworkers who did NOT want to catch whatever I had.


Indeed, sicktime is stupid( Dutch guy here) : either you are sick, and therefore at home but paid, or you have holiday, and therefore at home and paid, or you are at work and get paid! Simple…Sick for more then a few days is checked ( are you really sick) . If you are sick for a very long time payment drops to a 70% and at even longer to a „minimum as prescribed by the law“ . The money comes from either your employee or social security

I am fairly outspoken on this because i had a cancer episode taking 9 months. This didn‘t cost me a thing. My cost of living was somewhat higher because of travel, buying some necesseties etc.


Yeah but that kind of creative accounting is often the only actual creative ingenuity that the executives contribute to the company.


I used to work under an employment contract governed by Swiss law and had to laugh when my employer sent me an email telling me that I was required by law to take a continuous two weeks off at some point during the calendar year. But I was working for a French company, where multiple long vacations per year are the norm, so nobody batted an eye. Not so for a friend of mine who had a similar contract, but worked for an American company.


Give 'em another couple years, and this will be a middle-of-the-road mainstream opinion with the GOP and the WSJ.


Work for one of the big 3. Was just on short term disability for 6 weeks. Week 1 of it is a waiting period, so unpaid, but I can use either my sick days or PTO to pay myself for it.

Since I was sick, and I get a ton of PTO (so if I am sick later this year I can still take the day off), I used 40 hours of my sick time. The HR drone fought me, kept trying to make me use PTO for it. Finally I got their email address, an sent them and email from my work email to their work email stating clearly they were to use sick hours to pay me.

I don’t get why they were so insistent I not use my sick hours.


Which is a shame, because as a business paper goes, minus the op-ed pages, it has always been solid reportage in the rest of the A section.


Complaining about the cost to companies of huge bonuses handed out to the C-suites is completely different, of course.


some places pay out your pto at the end of the year. if that’s the case for you, they’d have to pay you less overall if you spent that pto rather than keeping it banked

and if they really wanted to benefit, they’d give employees good long meaningful vacations. that would enable the companies to plan better about time off, while allowing people to rest so they don’t get stressed and sick so much at random times


The new meme…Corporate Math.