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Volume 26, Number 1—January 2020

Paid Leave and Access to Telework as Work Attendance Determinants during Acute Respiratory Illness, United States, 2017–2018

Faruque Ahmed1Comments to Author , Sara Kim, Mary Patricia Nowalk, Jennifer P. King, Jeffrey J. VanWormer, Manjusha Gaglani, Richard K. Zimmerman, Todd Bear, Michael L. Jackson, Lisa A. Jackson, Emily Martin, Caroline Cheng, Brendan Flannery, Jessie R. Chung, and Amra Uzicanin
Author affiliations: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (F. Ahmed, S. Kim, B. Flannery, J.R. Chung, A. Uzicanin); University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA (M.P. Nowalk, R.K. Zimmerman, T. Bear); Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, Marshfield, Wisconsin, USA (J.P. King, J.J. VanWormer); Texas A&M University, Temple, Texas, USA (M. Gaglani); Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute, Seattle, Washington, USA (M.L. Jackson, L.A. Jackson); University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA (E. Martin, C. Cheng)

Main Article

Table 3

Adjusted analysis to assess the association with days worked during the first 3 days of illness among adults with medically attended acute respiratory illness or influenza, United States, 2017–18 influenza season*

Characteristic Total days worked, n = 1,306 Days worked at the usual workplace, n = 1,306
Access to telework
No Referent Referent
1.25 (1.07–1.46)†
0.98 (0.821.17)
Access to paid leave
No Referent Referent
0.81 (0.68–0.96)‡
0.81 (0.67–0.96)‡
Discouraged from coming to work with influenza-like symptoms
Not agree Referent Referent
Agree 0.86 (0.76–0.97)‡ 0.85 (0.74–0.96)‡

*Values are adjusted ratios of days worked (95% CI). Boldface indicates statistical significance. Total days worked represents the sum of days worked at the usual workplace and days teleworked during the first 3 days of illness. The dependent variable in the zero-inflated Poisson regressions was days worked during the first 3 days of illness (i.e., 0, 1, 2, or 3 d). The final models contained the following independent variables: access to telework; access to paid leave; employees are discouraged from coming to work when they have flulike symptoms; age; sex; education; fever; worked the day before illness; having a lot of control over taking days off for illnesses; full-time worker; and employee type. The variable “employees are encouraged to go home if they have influenza-like symptoms at work” was excluded from the models because it was highly correlated with the variable “employees are discouraged from coming to work when they have influenza-like symptoms” (Spearman correlation coefficient 0.76; p<0.001); the latter variable has more relevance for reducing virus transmission in the workplace (not coming to work at all vs. coming to work with influenza-like symptoms and then told to go home). Sixty-eight records were excluded because of missing values.

Main Article

1Preliminary results from this study were presented at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, August 2729, 2018, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

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