Why you shouldn’t go to work while you’re sick


In many companies, it’s a badge of honor to go to work sick. Only about 16 percent of U.S. employees use all of their paid sick leave each year, according to a report by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. About 45 percent of employees use only some of their sick leave and 32 percent don’t take any sick leave at all! Here’s why taking at least a day off when you have a cold or flu is so important:

1. You’ll get everyone else sick. You may be in good shape and able to shake off symptoms quickly, but consider how many people you encounter during a work day — and how many of those people have small children, babies or older parents they don’t want to infect.

2. You may be sick longer. When you are sick, you need rest and sleep to recover. Masking your symptoms with cold medicine and going to work can extend your recovery. Studies also show that high levels of stress — what you often experience when going to work while you’re sick — can make it harder to kick a cold or the flu.

3. You won’t be very productive. Studies show that when you go to work sick, your productivity can be compromised by 20 to 40 percent, meaning you are prone to making mistakes.

Take the time to rest and recover from a cold or flu. And if you’re a manager, make sure your employees understand that they should do the same.

Does your small business qualify for the health care tax credit?

56414702_MFederal tax credits are available for small businesses and non-profit organizations to help cover the cost of offering health insurance to employees. The credit is worth up to 50% of the costs you pay for your employees’ premiums; for non-profit employers, the credit is worth up to 35%. To qualify for the tax credit, a business must meet certain criteria, including:

1. Have less than 25 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. Have a mix of part-time and full-time employees? Here’s a calculator that can help you calculate your company’s FTEs.

2. Have an average employee salary of no more than about $50,000 per year, excluding the wages of the owners and their families.

  • 3. Pay at least 50% of your full-time employees’ health insurance premium costs.
  • 4. Offer coverage to all of your full-time employees. You don’t have to offer coverage to dependents or employees working fewer than 30 hours per week to qualify for the tax credit.
  • Tax credits translate into a dollar-for-dollar reduction of your tax liability. The small business health care credit is refundable, so even if your business has no taxable income in a year, you may be eligible to receive the credit as a refund so long as it does not exceed your income tax withholding and Medicare tax liability. Even if your business did not owe tax during the year, you may be able to carry the credit back or forward to other tax years. And since the amount of the health insurance premium payments is more than the total credit, eligible small businesses may still be able to claim a business expense deduction for the premiums in excess of the credit. That’s both a credit and a deduction for employee premium payments. As with any tax-related issue, it’s always a good idea to consult a tax professional.
  • Questions? Whether you need coverage for you or your business, we’re here to help. Visit our website and give us a call to get started.