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Readers Respond: Should sick employees be punished for staying home with the flu?

Responses: 26

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The New York Times has reported, "At Wal-Mart, when employees miss one or more days because of illness or other reasons, they generally get a demerit point. Once employees obtain four points over a six-month period, they begin receiving warnings that can lead to dismissal."

Should employees be required to report to work when they have the H1N1 flu or other contagious illnesses or face being penalized?

Shouldn't a doctor's note let them off the hook? Should employers be required to pay sick leave?

Share Your Thoughts

Temp hire than 102.... Should be working

Just a few weeks ago I was sick with the flu, chills, aches and high temperature... Called out sick. Was warned upon return after 3 rd day with a doctors note in hand that a demerit was held against me. I said even with a doctors note. Wallyworld said we do not accept them. Few months prior hurt on the job, medical bill still not paid...... Very odd. Seems they careless about their workers more and more today.... Fustrated
—Guest Just a number

Clearly Somebody Needs to Sue

Dillards use to have a similar policies about employees calling in sick. Then they were sued, and things changed. First of all your medical information is none of your employers business. Unless your absences are excessive there should be no need for a Dr's note for being out of work. If an employer fires you for calling in sick. Sue if you can, file for unemployment and thank your lucky stars you never have to report there again. You are God's highest creation and it is time that human beings to stop giving the power of God within them self over to corporations. Remember who you really are and stop allowing your self to be a pawn.
—Guest Jesssica

Walmart #5402 don't go there ever period

I WAS AN EMPLOYED AT THE WALMART ON NORTH AVENUE AND KILPATRICK FOR A TOTAL OF ONLY 5 SHORT MONTHS. IN THE TIME I WAS THERE I CALLED OFF DUE TO MY SON BREAKING HIS ARM AND BEING HOSPITALIZED UNTIL 5 IN THE MORNING, ME HAVING TO CARE FOR MY GRANDMOTHER FOR 1 DAY BECAUSE SHE HAD BEEN DISCHARGED FROM THE HOSPITAL AFTER FINDING OUT SHE HAD A CANCEROUS SPOT ON HER LUNG AND ANOTHER TIME BECAUSE I WAS SICK AS HELL MYSELF. THEY DID NOT EXCUSE ANY OF MY ABSENSES. THE CO-MANAGER ALEXANDRIA DAVIS HAD BEEN WATING TO GET RID OF ME FOR SOMETIME DUE TO THE FACT THAT I DIDN'T KISS HER ASS AS THE REST OF THE EMPLOYEES DID AND ALLOWED HER TO TALK RUDE AND RECKLESS TO THEM. I WAS FIRED ON AT 4:35A.M. ON 2/20/2014 DUE TO WHAT THEY CALL MISCONDUCT WITH COACHINGS. I HAD REAL LIFE EMERGENCIES AND THEY WOULDN'T APPROVE ANY OF MY CALL INS LIKE I WAS JUST OUT TRYING TO HANG OUT. I WILL NEVER WORK FOR THEM AGAIN.
—Guest Happily Unemployed

unfairness of walmart

I know first hand of the unfairness of walmart. I had a stomach virus and told by the ER I was contagious I got my note from the nurse and still got into trouble. Another man I work with had pneumonia he could barely breath and was throwing up in trash cans but still told to work. Walmart does not care if they spread illness just as long as they get their work out of u. They push u to ur breaking point and show no sympathy to the pain u suffer from it
—Guest small town walmart

customers the biggest germ spreaders

I work at aSqualmart as a cake decorator and was recently written up for going over 3 absences within 6 months. The managers don't like it when you speak the truth, and thetruth is it's the customers who come in and freely share their nastiness with everyone else. When did people stop teaching their children to cover their mouths when they cough ? I never hear parents admonishing their children for coughing into the air we all have to share. I told the manager who wrote me up that if Wal-Mart didn't want sick employees then they needed to start turning away sick customers at the door. Lol it was worth it just to see the look on his face that here was one employee that hasn't been turned into a brain dead robot. Since this write up I now give opencoughers the dirtiest looks i can muster and start backing up immediately if anyone starts that shit near me.
—Guest Fed up cake decorator

YES! They Make You Work Sick

You get 3 call outs every six months. That includes being late because your bus was a no show. I've seen people at work who are obviously contagious. They are running fevers, sweating, coughing, sneezing, and at times, throwing up. YET, you are threatened with termination if you call out sick. Supervision has no qualms exposing the public to contagions & further spreading diseases. Remember, that sick cashier is touching your stuff and your food -- after wiping their nose with their hand. Yum.
—Guest Insider

No!!!!!!!

I worked for Wm for 7 plus years had been written up and then called in with the flu and was terminated two weeks later.
—Guest Fired for calling in sick with the flu

Yeah But They Have Cheap Prices

Well, I hesitate on jumping into any Wal-Mart debate, but I will say that manufacturers do give special pricing to volume customers, and when it comes to volume, Wal-Mart does pretty good. Often times you can find, say, cell phones at the same price as anywhere else, but often times manufacturers will offer Wal-Mart an "exclusive" on a cell-phone that includes a Bluetooth headset. And not just Wal-Mart. Radio Shack gets special promotions like that as well, as do other retailers. So the answer is yes, in some cases, there is a value at shopping at high volume stores. They do have better opportunities to sell, and when a manufacturer is motivated to sell units, they will take the "heavy hitters" and offer their customers special deals to sell more units. Hope that helps, and I can appreciate agreement or disagreement on the issue of Wal-Mart. But I do think this is a pretty complete and valid answer.
—Guest XeMlGKTpAIt

Wrongful

I've been with Wal Mart one year and a half. I've been terminated for being absent with a doctors excuse. They dictate everything in this store. I wish I could get help because this is wrong being my money is spent going to the doctor and it not being excused. If I'm out due to illnesses and provide my doctors note it all should be excused.
—Guest victim

TWICE a cashier coughed on my groceries

Today was the second time this year a female cashier coughed right onto my food! The first time it happened, I got severe flu for 3 weeks! Each time, I left angry but said nothing. Not next time! I went to a Walmart last night and a night stocker smelled so bad it filled half the isle. They park carts in the middle of the isles and you can't get through. Their cans are smashed, items are sliced open, and dirt on much of the products. Also TWICE had to go to customer service after my items were scanned TWICE! I am SICK OF DIRTY WALMART. I use Straighttalk but that's going to be about IT.
—Guest Me from Halley

WalMart No Different

Many employers make their employees show up sick or provide a doctors note. And don't even try to take a personal day for a sick child! This country would do better to do right by working moms - WalMart or not.
—Guest Anonymous

Sick of It

I worked for Wal-Mart for almost a year. During that time I had the flu twice, contracted chronic bronchitis that I now have an inhaler for. I injured myself while working with a migraine because I could not take any more time off, I was facing being fired. I was fired anyway because they kept changing my schedule and would not tell me what days I was to work. Don't work for Wal-Mart, Sam Walton is rolling over in his grave for the way it has turned out to be! There are plenty of other places to work and shop.
—Guest Former Wal-Mart Employee

WalMart - A Giant PR Company

Wal-Mart seems to thrive on doing bad things (like under paying workers and discriminating against minorities) and then when they get caught they make a big to-do about how much they care -- and change bad policies they should nave not had in the first place!
—Guest FormerEmployee

Stop Shopping at Walmart

I've stopped going to Walmart for the reasons stated above, they have unfair employee policies. I shop at other discount locations and grocery stores.
—Guest Stopped Shopping at Walmart

To Quote Madea

Hail to the no! Only an uncaring employer (uncaring about employees AND customers) would force workers with the flu to report on the job.
—BizWhiz

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Should sick employees be punished for staying home with the flu?

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