Thesis

A secondary data analysis on reported worker income and sick presenteeism behavior

The purpose of this study was to describe whether people who have lower income, or are closer to the poverty line, have similar responses as to why they attend work while sick compared with those who have higher income. This study is a secondary data analysis on a study set forth by the Public Welfare Foundation in 2010, consisting of 1,461 participants nationwide. Three guiding questions were looked at in conjunction with workers’ reported income. First, findings revealed no significant difference between worker income and concern about not having paid sick days. Second, no significant difference was found between reported income and work attendance when sick. This means workers overall attended work when sick regardless of income. Third, there was significant difference between worker reported income and response on attending the emergency room either for themselves, child or dependent. Lower income workers had higher rates of attending the emergency room. Social Workers and fields inclined to practice in social justice should advocate for workers from all socioeconomic backgrounds to have the right to seek medical help during work hours without fear of losing their job or being short on income due to not having paid sick days. Currently, there is minimal research done on income or demographics in conjunction with worker behaviors surrounding sick presenteeism (SP). In order to understand SP and its complexity, more research needs to be conducted.

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