Do you work when you’re sick?

More than half of doctors in training said in a survey that they’d shown up sick to work, Associated Press is reporting.

Nearly one-third of junior doctors said they’d done it more than once.

Misplaced dedication and fear of letting other doctors down are among reasons the researchers cited as possible explanations, AP reports.

Do you work when you’re sick? Why?

Does the high unemployment rate and fear of losing your job influence your decision?

Or do you work so you can save your sick days for some other reason — a mental health day or to go somewhere?

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34 comments Add your comment

BAWms

September 15th, 2010
8:44 am

I work on staying healthy so I don’t have to be out of work sick. Knock on wood – I have not taken a sick day since 2003 and that was when I was going through a divorce – probably wasn’t sick, just sick and tired. Since I got rid of the stress (the ex), I have not had to take a sick day. Now I use my paid time off for fun!!

Marger

September 15th, 2010
8:48 am

I definitly work when sick, and i get sick a lot!!! This is because my company did away with sick days and replaced it with PTO. I save my PTO for vacations not sick time. I defintely make others sick and it is usually how I get sick too… so I don’t think this is a good idea, but I will do what I have to.

Destin Dawg

September 15th, 2010
8:58 am

take pain relievers… go to work…. don.t want to be sick on my days off !!!

VSR

September 15th, 2010
8:58 am

I do not work when I’m sick or near sick. I don’t get sick often…probably less than 5 days each year. My supervisor is very strict about only taking sick days for sickness (not for vacations, errands, etc.) So, in order to get the benefit of sick leave that I’m due, I take it!

commonsense

September 15th, 2010
9:03 am

If you are married and have kids you will get sick at least 2 times a year. Please stay home! It doesn’t do anyone any good for you to be at work while you are sick. You are not 100% focused and it’s actually counter-productive because you will get others sick. Bite the bullet and get well and sure as heck don’t feel guilty about it. If your employer isn’t understanding of that situation, then you should leave. We are not superheroes.

Rodney

September 15th, 2010
9:15 am

@Marger – you do realize that you’re not getting fewer sick days, right? PTO (my company has that too) is to be used for all absences, regardless of the reason. Instead of segmenting the reasons why, you just have one bank of hours that you can use for whatever.

Thankfully I’m able to work from home, so sick days aren’t really an issue. If I’m feeling puny or have a cold, I’ll still work, just in a robe with a box of Kleenex nearby. It’s been few and far between that I take an entire day off due to illness.

ABC

September 15th, 2010
9:19 am

What choice do we have??? At BEST, when you take a sick day you are seen as “unreliable”, at WORST you get pay docked that most people cannot afford to lose.

And if you are a parent, you can count on at least half (maybe all) of your “sick” days being used when your children are not well.

Welcome to Corporate America, have a stuffy day.

AtlantaTaurus

September 15th, 2010
9:30 am

I have no choice but to work when I’m sick. I’m too afraid of the outcome of calling out. I have ample sick time, over a month, but out of fear, I don’t use it.

mYnAmEiSnOtShArEd

September 15th, 2010
9:32 am

Ever since the company did away with sick days and made it all just PTO days, yes, I come to work sick. Unless I’m deathly sick and cannot stand without assistance, I will be at work. If others around me get sick, I’m sorry but I don’t want PTO days to be used for illnesses.

Troy

September 15th, 2010
9:46 am

I have done so my entire 37 year working career. I’m very rarely sick to start with and letting down my co-workers who will have to do my work keeps me coming in. However most of my current co-wokers call out sick quite often, unsurprisingly on Monday and Friday. They see sick leave as a right. They use all of it and then some every year.

Contractor

September 15th, 2010
10:07 am

Yes, I work when I am sick. I can not afford to take the day off and I am concerend about keeping my job. I bring Lysol, tissues and other antibacterial things and just warn my co workers.

ditto

September 15th, 2010
10:52 am

Yes, I work sick because I don’t have a choice. I have horrible female-related discomfort that requires pain killers and I might even throw up. But I take the pain-killers and come to work at 85% capacity because I can’t call off once a month

dk

September 15th, 2010
11:01 am

Yes, I’m also stuck with PTO, so I try not to take any PTO days as sick time, unless I have no choice and am unable to drive.

Jose

September 15th, 2010
11:04 am

Hell to the NO! I don’t even work when I am feeling well!

David H, MD

September 15th, 2010
11:04 am

Yep, no choice in the matter. Unless I’m sicker than my patients, my health problems are of no concern to them, or my office manager. Luckily, I get sick very, very rarely; last sick day was more than 5 years ago. Last case of true influenza (3 days off…) was 24 years ago. Bless the flu shots, that everyone should be getting.

Tom

September 15th, 2010
11:09 am

Last year I worked with Swine Flu. Luckily, I have the ability to work from home if necessary.

oldtimer

September 15th, 2010
11:43 am

When I worked..I went to work sick unless I could not drive…As a teacher it was too hard to plan for a sub and hope the kids behave…

Who's There?

September 15th, 2010
11:45 am

Of course I work when I’m sick so I can save my days off for when I’m feeling well.

Depends

September 15th, 2010
12:16 pm

I will work depending on how sick I am. If it’s just a sniffle I will go in, but if I’m sneezing, coughing, and sweating I stay my lovely behind home.

asudst1992

September 15th, 2010
12:22 pm

Destin Dawg

September 15th, 2010
8:58 am
take pain relievers… go to work…. don.t want to be sick on my days off !!!

I AGREE WITH YOU 100%.

blkshepherd

September 15th, 2010
1:10 pm

Well for you folks that want come in while your sick you would not be welcomed in my office and management would be livid and Make you go home and they have the right to protect other employees. Its about Public Safety. My co workers nor I wanted you coughing sneezing and spreading your GERMS throughout the office. sorry. No one wants your germs. I am certain any of you that have children in school would be livid to learn your child is being unecessarily exposed to viruses because a parent refuses to keep a sick child home thus causing other children to become ill. It is a safety hazzard. You so call tough it out folks that claim you dont want to put your work off on your co workers what makes you think your co workers want to get what you have? I would rather cover and do someone elses job temporary than catch something from them. if you are Sick people, coughing wheezing, blowing your nose. STAY HOME..no one wants your GERMS!

OxiClean

September 15th, 2010
1:14 pm

What do you expect Henry! Of course people work when they’re sick…………like we have a choice! LOL! Those crackin the whip behind my cubicle are more concerned with “face time” and getting the job done than with my well-being. Employers would MUCH rather replace mere mortals with emotionless, non-stop, machines. Your “humanity” is what annoys them……..remember, you are expected not to do anything personal while at work, even though you’re a “person”………..wage SLAVERY at its finest!

Working Mom

September 15th, 2010
1:22 pm

Of course I go to work sick. I have to. With only 10 sick days a year, I have to save those for when my toddler gets sick. When I’m sick, too bad for me!

Netbanker

September 15th, 2010
1:25 pm

Most people I know work when sick because the company has cut staffing so severly there isn’t much choice. Of course they keep promising that if we make our numbers they’ll be able to hire more people. For 2 years in a row we BEAT the goals and guess how many people have been hired…NONE!

PTO is an abosultely AWFUL approach to paying people for time away from the office. I’ve seen folks fall ill and then have children fall ill so they had to use all of their PTO for illness. They never did get that time away from work to recharge their batteries (aka vacation). There should be completely distinct pools of time for each need. From what I can determine there are rules governing PTO that makes it advantageous for the business. When leaving a company (voluntarily or not) you must be paid for vacation days, but not unused sick time. Unpaid PTO is not paid at 100% to the worker.

Marger

September 15th, 2010
1:32 pm

@Rodney, I wish more employers understood the benefits of teleworking. I am glad you are able to do it. I find that alot of my *sickness* is really just a head cold or something that I am still able to work with at my desk job, so I go in. I work in a hospital so it is hard to avoid getting sick… Any how I now have 20 PTO days in case my new born daughter gets sick. SERIOUSLY!

tracey

September 15th, 2010
1:45 pm

It all depends. If I’m sniffling, but not running a fever, I may go to work. I have migraines, and I’ll just pop motrin like tic-tacs and work. If I have a fever, am really sick, then I stay home. It isn’t ideal, but I have to work.

Not Sick

September 15th, 2010
2:10 pm

The first post caught my attention. I am the same way. I haven’t taken a sick day since my divorce.

Ironically, I was just telling my child this morning that sometimes we have to go to work in the beginning throes of getting sick and she too has to go to school. Unfortunately, she called me 3 hrs later to come pick her up due to upchucking her breakfast.

MountainDawg

September 15th, 2010
2:24 pm

I’m fortunate/blessed that I’m (very) “rarely” sick & it’s usually a cold, etc. (1-2x per year). I do work unless have a multitude of symptoms or something fairly contagious. I have to work…or don’t get paid. ;-)

Sick Pay

September 15th, 2010
11:09 pm

In this terrible job market, I never call in sick. Too risky. I go to work sick as a dog sometimes, just to save my job. At my company, they fire you for anything, so you have to suck up big to the boss and work whatever hours they say.

blkshepherd

September 16th, 2010
6:51 am

NO ONE WANTS YOUR GERMS! ANY ONE SICK SHOULD BE SENT BACK HOME PERIOD! YOUR A DANGER TO PUBLIC HEALTH. NO CHILDREN SHOULD BE EXPOSED TO SICK CHILD. SOME FOLKS HAVE WEAKEN IMMUNE SYSTEMS. AND YOUR GERMS PUT THEM AT RISK.. I would Refuse to work next to any one coughing spitting sneezing. sorry…

mandy

September 16th, 2010
6:54 am

Yes I take my sick leave. I take my vacation. I take my holidays. At our company we are not allowed to roll over our time. So of course I take it.

ABC

September 16th, 2010
8:34 am

blkshepherd: no problem, you can use your sick days when I am sick. As for me, I will save my job and my family can do fun things like have a roof over their heads and food on the table.

ricky

September 16th, 2010
12:15 pm

I’ve been sick for a week with a summer cold that won’t get better. Three others in the office now have it because they changed my pay plan from salary to straight commission. No sick pay and no vacation pay. You
think that isn’t fair? “If you don’t like it, quit. There are lots of people that would be love to have your job and will likely work for less than what we pay you.”

Welcome to the new economy. If you’ve still got a job and if your employer still gives benefits, you should be grateful!

Martha

September 16th, 2010
6:32 pm

I’m a teacher and rarely ever get sick. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I have been really physically sick even 5 days in the past 30+ years. But, even when I have to be out for a dr.’s appt, etc., I dread it because I have to do lesson plans for a sub, worry about my classes when I am not there, come back to a surprise the next day and frankly, it is just not worth it. Luckily I have a favorite sub who knows my classes/routines, etc. Often I wish I could just be like a “real” person and just call in and say, “Hey, I’m sick today, won’t be in. See you tomorrow.” As a teacher, it is easier to go in feeling bad than worry about what happens when I am not there.