During the recent flu pandemic, workers were urged to stay home when ill. Many employees in
the U.S., however, either cannot take leave when they or a child are sick or do not receive pay
for doing so, forcing them to choose between their paycheck and the health of their children,
customers, coworkers, and selves. 2009 Bureau of Labor Statistics survey data reveal that two of
five private sector workers lack paid sick days coverage, though 89 percent of state and local
government employees and virtually all federal workers receive paid sick days.