Lack of paid sick leave linked to poverty

June 14, 2018

(HealthDay)—Workers without paid sick leave are three times more likely to have incomes below the poverty line, two new studies find.

Compared to adults who have the employee benefit, those without paid sick leave are also more likely to have difficulty affording food. They're also more likely to use assistance, the researchers said.

"Paid sick leave benefits serve as a structural mechanism for preventing working families from becoming the working poor," said study co-author LeaAnne DeRigne, an associate professor at Florida Atlantic University.

"Given the public investments made in welfare, food stamps and other , mandating paid sick leave is a clear policy lever for reducing the need for these services among millions of individuals nationally," DeRigne said in a university news release.

Nearly one-third of all workers in the United States don't get paid sick leave. Only seven mandate it, the researchers said.

They used data from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey to see how lack of paid sick leave affects income and the need for welfare services.

Not only were these workers more likely to live in poverty, they also were nearly 1.5 times more likely to get income support from state and county welfare services. In addition, they were almost 1.4 times more likely to receive (now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.)

Greater medical expenses, lack of preventive care and missed wages likely explain the need for these social services, the researchers said.

"Numerous studies have shown the negative effects lack of paid sick leave has on society, but this is the first time a direct correlation has been observed between the absence of these benefits and the incidence of poverty," said Patricia Stoddard Dare, co-author of the studies.

"This adds to the growing body of evidence that paid is a key factor in health care affordability and economic security," said Dare, an associate professor of social work at Cleveland State University.

The studies were published recently in the journal Social Work in Health Care and in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry .

Explore further: Number of paid sick days directly impacts how Americans use preventive care like flu shots

More information: For more on paid sick leave, visit the U.S. Department of Labor.

Related Stories

Number of paid sick days directly impacts how Americans use preventive care like flu shots

March 5, 2018
How much is enough? That is what researchers from Florida Atlantic University and Cleveland State University wanted to find out in the first study to measure the link between an employee's number of paid sick leave days and ...

New study finds troubling health care outcomes for US workers without paid sick leave

March 7, 2016
The United States lags behind 22 other highly ranked countries in terms of economic and human development when it comes to mandating employers to provide paid sick leave. In the U.S., only four states (Connecticut, California, ...

Insult to injury: US workers without paid sick leave suffer from mental distress

September 15, 2017
Only seven states in the United States have mandatory paid sick leave laws; yet, 15 states have passed preemptive legislation prohibiting localities from passing sick leave. Despite this resistance, paid sick leave is starting ...

US workers without paid sick leave more likely to forego preventive health care

March 1, 2017
More than 20 million Americans have gained health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and do not have to pay for 15 preventive screenings recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Yet, despite ...

Two percent of US employees go to work each week despite being sick

March 7, 2016
Each week, up to three million US employees go to work sick, with roughly half of these incidents due to a lack of paid leave coverage. The findings come from an analysis of information from the 2011 Leave Supplement of the ...

Recommended for you

Eating breakfast burns more carbs during exercise and accelerates metabolism for next meal

August 15, 2018
Eating breakfast before exercise may "prime" the body to burn carbohydrates during exercise and more rapidly digest food after working out, University of Bath researchers have found.

Mixing energy drinks with alcohol could enhance the negative effects of binge drinking

August 14, 2018
A key ingredient of energy drinks could be exacerbating some of the negative effects of binge drinking according to a new study.

New study finds fake, low-quality medicines prevalent in the developing world

August 10, 2018
A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that substandard and falsified medicines, including medicines to treat malaria, are a serious problem in much of the world. In low- and middle-income ...

Insurance status tied to higher self-perceived poor/fair health

August 9, 2018
(HealthDay)—Underinsured and never insured adults are more likely than adequately insured adults to report poor/fair health and frequent mental distress (FMD), according to a study published online July 19 in the U.S. Centers ...

Carbon dioxide levels on flight deck affect airline pilot performance

August 8, 2018
Commercial airline pilots were significantly better at performing advanced maneuvers in a flight simulator when carbon dioxide (CO2) levels on the flight deck (cockpit) were 700 parts per million (ppm) and 1500 ppm than when ...

Giving kids plates with segments and pictures caused them to eat more vegetables

August 8, 2018
A pair of researchers at the University of Colorado has found that preschool kids ate more vegetables when presented with segmented plates with pictures of fruits and vegetables on them. In their paper published in JAMA Pediatrics, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.