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Going To Work Sick May Cost More Than Staying Home, Staffing Expert Says

By Hadas Kuznits

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Workplace attitudes toward employees who call in sick, and those who don't, are changing.

Lori Horrigan, Philadelphia regional vice president of the staffing and recruiting firm Robert Half International, says there is a changing paradigm.

"We actually did a survey, and one-third of workers that were interviewed said that when a colleague comes in sick, they worry about getting sick as well.  And only eight percent are actually impressed by their dedication," she said.

Horrigan says coming to work sick is actually a detriment to employers, "because either they themselves could become sick or they could get additional employees sick, so it could cost some real money."

So why do people come to work when they are contagious?

"I think people feel badly taking sick time (since) we just came through  a recession, (or) if their company's already shortstaffed, (or) they don't want to put more work on their co-workers," she says.

And Horrigan says that when employers allow their workers to stay at home or work remotely, it benefits the company, too.

"And I think it helps morale for the company if your employer cares how you're feeling," she adds.

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