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The $9 billion reason you should never show up to work sick

 

The flu is widespread in 49 US states right now, Business Insider's Hilary Brueck reports, and CDC officials say the 2018 flu season "is proving particularly difficult."

The CDC reports that across the country, hospitals are seeing roughly twice the typical baseline of patients with flu-like symptoms, Brueck reports. And the 2017 flu shot isn't working very well against one of the most common strains of the virus.

What's more, global outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. estimates that the flu could cost employers more than 6.2 billion a year in wages thanks to lost productivity from illness. 

Offering paid sick leave (and being clear about how people can use it) is one key way to help mitigate these fears.

A recent study out of Florida Atlantic University found that, unsurprisingly, US workers without paid sick leave are more likely than those with paid sick leave to keep going to work when they're ill.

Those who get paid for sick days are more likely to "self-quarantine when necessary, without the worries of losing their job or income, while also not spreading illness to others," said lead study author LeaAnne DeRigne.