Thursday, May 21, 2009

Incidence of sick leave

A couple of updates on Saturday's post on pending sick leave legislation, the Healthy Families Act...

In the comments, Pino called shenanigans on the numbers I gave for the incidence of paid sick leave benefits. I cited the most recent BLS employee benefits report that gave figures for personal leave benefits in March 2008 but not sick leave benefits specifically. I had assumed that the leave categories listed in the report were exhaustive and that sick leave was included in personal leave. I should have remembered the old saying about the work assume and done some more research.

I have not been able to find sick leave information for 2008; however, an earlier BLS report gives figures for workers in private industry in 2007. That report (Table 19, p. 28) indicates that 57 percent of workers in private industry have paid sick days as a benefit, a much higher incidence than paid personal days though still far from universal (about four out of every nine workers don't have the benefit).

Just over two-thirds of full-time workers get paid sick leave, while fewer than a quarter of part-time workers do. The incidence among managers and professionals is 80 percent, while the incidence among service workers is 39 percent.

Another update is that the Healthy Families Act has now been introduced as H.R. 2460.


Pino said...

On a related note:

The bill would require companies with more than 100 employees to offer a week of paid vacation for both full-time and part-time employees after they’ve put in a year on the job. Three years after the effective date of the law, those same companies would be required to provide two weeks of paid vacation, and companies with 50 or more employees would have to provide one week.

Dave Ribar said...


You're describing different legislation. There are no mandatory vacation provisions in H.R. 2460.

Interestingly though, the incidence of paid vacation is substantially higher than the incidence of sick leave. More than 3/4 of American workers get vacation benefits.

Pino said...

You're describing different legislation. There are no mandatory vacation provisions in H.R. 2460.Agreed, this is separate. I just found it interesting in light of this conversation.

As far as the incidence of each....I suspect that most workers are fine with the amount of time off they get; sick as well as vacation. A more useful piece of legislation would be to prevent employers from denying unpaid sick time or denying unpaid vacation time. Or termination of job for each.