SickDayFlu season is in full swing and the country is facing what’s being called one of the worst seasons in a decade. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 8.2% of all deaths for the week of January 6-12, 2013 were tied to influenza and pneumonia.

That said, with the economy still anemic and job security a thing of the past, some employees will still show up on the job under any circumstances – even when they’re sick.

When this happens, can you force them to go home?

As one of Tempe’s top staffing services firms, PrideStaff can tell you that unless you have a union contract or other legal agreement forbidding you from ordering an employee out of the office, you most likely can force a sick employee to go home.

And it may be in your best interest to do so.

After all, if they infect your whole office, then you could be facing some serious losses. For instance, the CDC estimates that the seasonal flu costs U.S. employers $10.4 billion for expenses such as hospitalization and outpatient visits. And that estimate doesn’t account for losses in the form of absenteeism or productivity.

Quite a price to pay for a bout of the flu!

So, as an employer, what can you do to minimize the impact of the flu – and its costs – around your office?

  • Host a flu shot clinic at work. If you employ more than a certain number of employees (typically around 50), your health insurance carrier may provide free on-site clinics for your employees; so check with them first.
  • If they don’t, then give employees the names and addresses of places (e.g. the local drug store) where they can receive a free flu shot.
  • Also, distribute information offering some common sense tips for preventing the flu, such as covering mouths when coughing, washing hands frequently, and not sharing items like pens.
  • In addition, advise employees that when they are sick, they should stay home and that they’re not going to be penalized for doing so.

Have an Employee Away on Sick Leave?

If you do – and you need temporary help until they return, let us know. As one of Tempe’s top staffing services firms, PrideStaff can give you fast access to skilled and reliable temporary talent in a variety of fields. So whether you need someone to fill in for sick leave or maternity leave, we’ve got you covered.

Contact us today to learn more about how our temporary staffing services can help your Tempe company.

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