Dr. LeaAnne DeRigne’s (Associate Professor of Social Work) recent research on the importance of paid sick leave benefits was published in the April issue of Health Affairs and has received wide press coverage and is being cited around the country by policy makers, lobbyists, and advocates pushing cities and states to mandate sick leave coverage. This is a wonderful example of research having an impact on real world policy changes.
Key findings from the study, which are representative of the nation, showed that regardless of income, age, race, occupation, full-time or part-time work status, health status or health insurance coverage, workers without paid sick leave were three times more likely to delay medical care than were workers with paid sick leave. They also were three times more likely to forgo needed medical care altogether. Furthermore, families of workers without paid sick leave were two times more likely to delay medical care and 1.6 times more likely to forgo needed medical care. The lowest-income group of workers without paid sick leave were at the highest risk of delaying and forgoing medical care for themselves and their family members — making the most financially vulnerable workers the least likely to be able to address health care concerns in a timely manner.