As you probably know, North Carolina law does not require employers to grant to their employees paid sick leave. A recent study published in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry shows that workers who do not get receive paid sick leave experience significant stress worrying that if they get sick, they could lose their jobs.
Hopefully, those workers without sick leave understand that if they are injured on the job, they are typically eligible for workers’ compensation benefits that replace a portion of their wages and provide medical care as well.
Researchers said that the demographics of workers most vulnerable to the distress caused by lack of paid sick leave: low-income, young, Hispanic, poorly educated.
A co-author of the study said, “Given the disproportionate access to paid sick leave based on race, ethnicity and income status, coupled with its relationship to health and mental health, paid sick leave must be viewed as a health disparity as well as a social justice issue.”
She added that “even modest increases in psychological distress are noteworthy” because “even small increases in stress can impact health.”
Let’s face it, life is stressful enough without worrying that a day of illness could mean lost wages or even loss of your job.
We are grateful that most workers injured on the job are eligible for workers’ comp, however, but we know that in many cases they must fight for those benefits. If your claim has been denied, you have the right to appeal with the help of an attorney.