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With Flu On The Rise, Some Businesses Making Sure Sick Workers Stay Home

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Patient receives shot of flu vaccine (AP File Photo)

Patient receives shot of flu vaccine (AP File Photo)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – If you haven’t been bit by the flu bug this year, you might be lucky or maybe you’ve been getting help from the boss.

CBS 2′s Suzanne Le Mignot found a company that’s taking extra measures to keep employees healthy amid a hard-hitting flu season.

Alycia Klocke was back at work at Coyote Logistics on Wednesday, after a three-day bout with flu-like symptoms.

“I just emailed my boss, and I was like, ‘I’m not really feeling up to it.’ And she was like, ‘Absolutely, don’t come in. We’d rather have you home getting better than bringing it here,’” Klocke said. “There’s so many of us, and we work so closely together.”

Coyote Logistics serves as a middle man transporter of products for businesses nationwide. The company has a policy of making sure sick employees stay home.

Marianne Silver, Coyote’s “chief people officer,” said, “We have over 800 in this building. Imagine if 10 percent were out with the flu. It would be detrimental to our productivity. So we’ve put these procedures in place in order to keep our workforce happy and healthy and in the office.”

“Our employees feel very comfortable knowing that there’s no pressure if they’re sick; we don’t want them here. We love them, but we don’t want them here when they’re sick,” she added.

Workplace expert John Challenger said, “People are insecure in their jobs; that may lead to some people saying, ‘I better come in. I don’t want to take the risk that maybe the boss is mad at me. So I’ll come in, even though I’m sick,’ and then everybody else gets sick around them.”

An interesting twist is that, according to Challenger, layoffs are at their lowest rate since 1997. At the same time, unemployment is very high and that’s what’s adding to that feeling of job insecurity for many workers.

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