Each week, up to 3 million U.S. employees, or 2% of all workers, go to their jobs even though they are sick, according to a new analysis of data published in Health Services Research.

Those more likely to do so, said the Cornell University researchers, include:

  • Women,
  • Those who have more than three children in the household,
  • Those aged 25 to 34 years and
  • Employees who make less than $10 or between $10 and $20 per hour.

The authors reached their findings using data from The 2011 Leave Supplement of the American Time Use Survey.

The United States is the only industrialized country without universal access to paid sick leave, they stated. Sixty-five percent of full-time employees have sick pay coverage. Coverage rates are less than 20% for employees who make less than $10 an hour, part-time employees and employees who work in the hospitality and leisure industry.