WASHINGTON-A recent report released by the Economic Policy Institute noted that more than one-third of U.S. employees don't get paid when they have to stay home from work due to illness. Adding to this, those without sick paid days tend to be lower-paid workers.

The study analyzed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and found that 38 percent of private-sector workers received no paid sick time. Eighty-six percent of the highest-paid workers in private industry had access to sick days, compared with 19 percent of the lowest-paid workers.

"When these workers get sick, they are either forced to go to work or stay home without pay and risk losing their job," study author Elise Gould was quoted in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "Workers at the top of the wage scale were more than four times more likely to have sick days than workers at the bottom of the wage scale. … These low-income workers are the ones who can least afford to lose pay when they are sick."

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