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Background: The societal impact of Paid Sick Days (PSDs) has not been fully addressed in Vermont. Evidence suggests that PSDs benefit the well being of the employee in addition to saving expenses for the employer and the state. PSDs prevent the spread of diseases such as influenza and allow the ailing individual to receive proper medical attention. Inadequate PSDs not only affect the individual who needs time away from work due to illness, but extend to their entire family. Studies have documented the adverse effects from lack of PSDs on the ability for parents to care for their child. The following facts are known: • 7 states require private sector employees to provide “flexible” PSDs for family members (Vermont does not). • 66% of employers in Vermont do not provide PSDs for their employees. • Parents with PSDs or vacation are 5.2 times more likely to take time off from work to care for their sick child. We hypothesize that elementary aged children of working parents, who have an insufficient amount of PSDs, are more likely to attend school with an acute illness and are more likely to receive inadequate health care (i.e., miss well child check ups).


Jan Carney, MD, MPH, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Burton Wilcke, PhD, University of Vermont College of Medicine

Colin Robinson, Peace & Justice Center


Peace & Justice Center


Access to Health Services, Immunization and Infectious Diseases, Maternal, Infant, and Child Health


Presented at the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA; November 8, 2009

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 License

The Impact of Paid Sick Days on Public Health in an Elementary School Population