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

Responses: 20


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

Walmart worker

I am a Walmart worker who is sick, I have been vomiting all day. But can I call out? Nope I've used up my sick time. I hope no customers catch what I have.god forbid if anyone were to get Ebola we would probably still have to work or be fired not that $8.40 an hour is enough to live off of anyway
—Guest cashier

Why be punished for being sick??

I came down with the flu at work and was told that even if i left and went to doctor the absence would still go against me. What am i supposed to do, die on the work floor to be able to leave? i like my job, but my health is very important is well, and its not right to be punished for being sick. I didn't ask to have organ failure or the flu this time.
—Guest DemoniaRose


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.


I bet corporate Walmart employees take sick days. Sounds like a bunch of hypocrites to me.
—Guest Anonymous


I bet corporate Walmart employees take sick days. Sounds like a bunch of hypocrites to me.
—Guest Anonymous


Shame on Walmart. A Fortune 500 company should be setting a better example of how they treat their employees.
—Guest Hilda

Free Flu Shots

If Walmart is going to make employees show up sick they should give them all free flu shots. Heck, they should be giving their customers free flu shots too!
—Guest BettyMe

Another Reason We Need Better Healthcare

I bet most Walmart workers cannot afford to go to the doctors to get a note. So they have to show up sick or risk losing their jobs. Another reason we need more affordable health care.
—Guest Anonymous

Walmart Makes me Sick

Literally. I was out Walmart on Black Friday. The cashier was coughing her head off. She told me she had been sick for two weeks and lost 10 lbs but could not afford to lose her job. She coughed, then handed me my receipt.

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

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