West Virginia Needs a Healthy Workforce – Paid Sick Days Can Help (April 25, 2014)

By Alyson Clements and Sean O’Leary, West Virginia Center on Budget & Policy Blog

West Virginia is one of the least healthy states in the country. With the implementation of the ACA, roughly 270,000 more West Virginians have access to medical care. This increase in health care services is a huge step toward a healthy state, but access to medical care is only one piece of the puzzle.

Every day workers are faced with the impossible choice of going to work sick or staying home, losing pay and risking job loss. If they choose to go to work sick, their health suffers, contagious illnesses spread, companies lose productivity, and both health care costs and the cost of doing business rise. If they stay home, they put their economic security at risk. Just three and a half days of missed work because of illness is equivalent to an entire month’s groceries for the average family. This is enough to give any sick worker pause.