Jan 21, 2013 7:13 PM by Erin Steuber

Small Businesses and Sick Leave

For younger people, the message from doctors is always "if you're sick, stay home". But not everyone can afford to, and for some small business owners, paid sick leave is impractical.

Dean-O's pizza is used to serving up great meals in Lafayette, but as a small business, giving paid sick days to employees is difficult.

"We don't give them, like so much days, because we find they use that to their advantage and that will put us in a bind in the end," said Manager Jill Webb.

Lauren Johnson has worked for Dean-O's for four years, and was sick just last week, taking unpaid time off.

"We have so many people that work here. If anything ever happens we can always find someone to pick up, or switch shifts," said Johnson. "You know especially having two kids, I always have something going on."

Being in the business of food, health and cleanliness are both important. Webb says they encourage employee's to stay home when they're sick.

"We work together as a family. When they call in we try to cover their shifts. Everybody works as a team, we just get the shift covered, anything to get the restaurant to run smoothly like it's supposed to run," said Webb.

Employees at this small business join an estimated 40 million across the country without paid sick leave. While it may hit the paycheck, staying home is the best medicine for you and co-workers.

"We inform everybody and if someone's sick especially, like ok, we don't want other people to get sick, so there's no point in coming in and risking that," said Johnson. "So even if you're feeling a little bit under the weather, you know try to get that shift covered."

Paid sick day requirements are popular in polls, but only four places make it mandatory for businesses. San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC and the state of Connecticut are required to provide paid sick leave to everyone that is employed.



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