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BUSINESS
November 29, 2011 | By Ronnie Reese
If you plan to use the last of your 2011 sick days before the end of the year even if you're not really under the weather, you probably won't be alone. Companies that track employee time off and other worker issues say sick-day use among those who aren't sick is on the rise. From 2006 to 2010, the Workforce Institute at Kronos, a human resources policy group, found an 18% increase among workers who admitted to taking a sick day when they weren't really sick. And a 2007 survey by human resources consultant CCH found that two-thirds of U.S. employees who called in sick at the last minute actually weren't.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO -- A bill unveiled Tuesday would guarantee at least three paid sick days a year for California workers. "It's time to have this discussion, to seriously engage on the rights of everybody to take a day off when they're sick or be able to take their child to the doctor," said the measure's author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) in an interview Tuesday. Gonzalez said her proposal, which was introduced late last week and announced on Tuesday, aims to provide economic stability to workers who would otherwise risk losing their job due to illness.
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ENTERTAINMENT
October 28, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
The biggest shockers of Sunday night's "Walking Dead" occurred at the very beginning and at the very end. In the middle? Well, there was a whole lot of coughing. The mysterious flu-like disease that began infiltrating the prison in the season premiere has become a full-blown epidemic in Week 3, and unless members of the show's core cast can get to town and come back with some antibiotics, a whole lot of recurring characters are going to be zombies really soon. The intangible nature of the disease has begun having a profound effect on Rick and company, who have become quite adept at taking on more easily stab-able and shoot-able threats but seem at a loss about how to deal with a microscopic virus.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 28, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
The biggest shockers of Sunday night's "Walking Dead" occurred at the very beginning and at the very end. In the middle? Well, there was a whole lot of coughing. The mysterious flu-like disease that began infiltrating the prison in the season premiere has become a full-blown epidemic in Week 3, and unless members of the show's core cast can get to town and come back with some antibiotics, a whole lot of recurring characters are going to be zombies really soon. The intangible nature of the disease has begun having a profound effect on Rick and company, who have become quite adept at taking on more easily stab-able and shoot-able threats but seem at a loss about how to deal with a microscopic virus.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 21, 2014 | By Melanie Mason
SACRAMENTO -- A bill unveiled Tuesday would guarantee at least three paid sick days a year for California workers. "It's time to have this discussion, to seriously engage on the rights of everybody to take a day off when they're sick or be able to take their child to the doctor," said the measure's author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) in an interview Tuesday. Gonzalez said her proposal, which was introduced late last week and announced on Tuesday, aims to provide economic stability to workers who would otherwise risk losing their job due to illness.
NEWS
September 4, 1990 | KATHLEEN DOHENY
As every parent knows, going back to school can be hazardous to your child's health. Along with smiling teachers, new books and shiny desktops, the classroom holds the potential for catching any number of colds, flus and intestinal upsets. Elementary school students can expect to contract about half a dozen minor illnesses between September and June. Older students going off to college for the first time also face health hazards such as weight gain and psychological stress.
BUSINESS
August 30, 2009 | Alana Semuels
Dear Alana: I recently found out that the office I work in is closing and everyone who works here will be laid off as of December. I have a lot of vacation days left, but I don't want to use them because I'll get paid for them when my office closes. But there's so much depression within this office, I need a vacation. Normally I'd feel guilty about faking an illness and using my sick days for a vacation. But given the circumstances, is it allowed? Summer in Santa Monica Dear Summer: Your office is probably a dungeon of despair these days, and I can understand why you and your co-workers might be tempted to swipe pencils, printer cartridges and even the bathroom sink as a way to get back at your employer.
NEWS
September 30, 2010
A Chicago restaurant worker recalls a time he was sick but felt he had to work or else be fired: "It was an incredibly busy weekend," he said, "at one point, one of my fellow workers sat me down because I was about to faint. The smell of grease and a long shift had taken their toll. I spent the next five days vomiting, expectorating phlegm and drinking a lot of orange juice. I had to force my co-workers to cover for me and work double shifts. They didn't want to see me fired, and I didn't want to lose my job. Later that week, two of my co-workers caught my virus as well as quite a few customers.
NEWS
January 8, 1997 | SHARI ROAN, TIMES HEALTH WRITER
Catching the flu is a matter of bad luck and, sometimes, a bad education about health and hygiene. Go ahead. Test your knowledge. Which of these sick people is probably contagious? A) Someone who will come down with symptoms of the flu in 12 hours. B) Someone who is feeling the first tingling of a sore throat. C) Someone who has been taking antibiotics for bronchitis for two days but is still coughing heavily. The answer? B.
BUSINESS
February 6, 1997
About 1,250 union workers at the Disneyland and Disney Pacific hotels ratified a three-year contract with the Walt Disney Co. that includes increases of about 3% a year. Workers who don't receive tips will get slightly more than a 3% increase this year, which includes the addition of paid sick days, said Angela Keefe, president of Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees Local 681. They'll also receive hourly wage increases of about 3% in 1998 and 1999, Keefe said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 25, 2013 | By Jeff Gottlieb
Through a secret arrangement to double his generous vacation and sick day allotments, former Bell administrator Robert Rizzo was actually making at least $1.18 million, much more than has previously been reported, a trial witness said Friday. Rizzo and his top aide, Angela Spaccia, drew up a document awarding themselves 33 hours of vacation time every two weeks and each actually drew two paychecks, one for the salaries and the second for the vacation and sick time payouts, Lourdes Garcia, the city's former finance officer, testified.
BUSINESS
August 12, 2013 | by Walter Hamilton, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
American workers get more vacation time today than they did two decades ago, but far fewer paid sick days, according to new government data. The average full-time worker at a private company gets 10 days of vacation a year, up from eight days in 1993, according to the analysis by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That expands over time, with the average employee getting 14 vacation days after five years (compared with 13 days in 1993) and 20 days after 20 years (versus 18 days in 1993)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 31, 2013 | By Jack Dolan
Responding to public criticism of an unusually generous sick pay policy, Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power said Wednesday it will immediately begin requiring employees to provide a doctor's note for absences of three or more days. The rule change comes less than a week after The Times reported on a 32-year-old policy that has allowed thousands of DWP employees to take far more fully paid sick days than allowed by the agency's 10-day-a-year cap. Since 2010, the department has paid employees more than $35.5 million for 103,802 extra sick days, the equivalent of 415 years of lost productivity, according to a Times examination of data obtained under the California Public Records Act. "The revelations from last week were simply outrageous" and prompted City Hall leaders to demand action, said Yusef Robb, spokesman for Mayor Eric Garcetti.
OPINION
July 30, 2013
Re "DWP sick pay change urged," July 27 We've known that the employees of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power make, on average, 50% more than other city employees and 25% more than other local utilities' employees; now we see that "abuse" of an outdated sick-day policy is costing the DWP millions. Kudos to Mayor Eric Garcetti for his quick response in calling for changes to this policy. Now that the DWP pay contract is up for discussion, this is a perfect opportunity to negotiate a reasonable contract that will bring DWP employees into alignment with city and other local utilities' employees.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 2013 | By Kate Linthicum and Michael Finnegan
Several top Los Angeles officials, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, are calling for changes to a policy that allows employees at the city's Department of Water and Power to collect unlimited sick pay. The policy, revealed by The Times on Friday, allows employees to take paid days off well beyond the agency's stated cap of 10 per year. Since 2010, the utility has paid $35.5 million in extra sick days, the Times investigation found. Last year, 10% of the department's roughly 10,000 employees took at least 10 extra days off, and more than 220 employees took at least 20 extra working days off. In a motion submitted at Friday's City Council meeting, Councilman Paul Koretz said the policy should be investigated "promptly and publicly.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 2013 | By Jack Dolan
Los Angeles' Department of Water and Power has paid thousands of employees a total of $35.5 million since 2010 in extra sick days under an unusual program that the utility's top executive acknowledges has been vulnerable to abuse. DWP employees benefit from a 32-year-old policy that allows them to take paid days off well beyond the agency's 10-day-a-year cap on sick days. Last year, 10% of the department's roughly 10,000 employees took at least 10 extra days off, the data show. More than 220 took an extra 20 working days off, or about a month, according to a Times examination of data obtained under the California Public Records Act. In fact, records and interviews show, there is no limit to the paid time off DWP employees can take when they say they're sick, and requirements to provide medical proof of their illness have been loosely enforced.
NEWS
February 22, 1994
Stumped for small talk? Feel free to share these sick facts and figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics at your next dinner party: * Americans call in sick more than 2.1 million times per month. * The flu is the biggest reason for illness (averaging 76 days a year per workplace), followed by strains and sprains (30), fractures and dislocations (23) and common cold (21); "female problems" (5) account for the least-given reason for absenteeism.
NEWS
December 5, 1999 | From HARTFORD COURANT
The next time you need a break from work, try this on for size: I have a rare case of 48-hour projectile leprosy. When it's cleared up, I'll be in. That excuse might sound outlandish, but a fake excuse is a fake excuse, and faking it appears to occur more often among better-educated, higher-paid employees than anyone else. A recent Louis Harris & Associates poll said employees in the United States take an accumulated 200 million sick days a year.
NEWS
May 16, 2013 | By Patt Morrison
You think your doctor is too busy? Dr. Jonathan Fielding has about 9 million patients - which is to say, almost everyone in Los Angeles County. He heads the county's public health department, a department bigger than that of some states. His is a panoply of responsibilities that don't pop immediately to mind with the word “health,” from bioterrorism to rules for restaurants that welcome dogs to the perils of sliced fruit sold from unsanitary vending carts. The department even has its own YouTube channel to get out the message.
BUSINESS
March 14, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
Portland, with a unanimous City Council vote, became the fourth city Wednesday to require private employers offer workers sick leave. Hailed by supporters as a move to provide workers with protection from being fired if they call in sick, the policy affects businesses who employ six or more workers. The municipal vote comes a day before a similar measure is set to go before City Council members in Philadelphia. "Policies like paid sick days are about more than keeping people healthy -- they're about keeping money in the pockets of working families so they can cover the basics," said Ellen Bravo, executive director of Family Values (at)
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