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Should You Take an Unsick Day?

LawMD

Fans of the classic children’s book Through the Looking-Glass may recall the Mad Hatter encouraging Alice to celebrate her “unbirthday” — the 364 days a year on which it is not a person’s birthday.

Now, some health experts are urging employers to give their workers a paid “unsick day” to get routine medical checkups.

If you have been injured due to a doctor’s negligence, your health should be your top priority. Protect your right to receive the compensation you deserve by working with an experienced Washington, D.C. medical malpractice lawyer.

What Is an Unsick Day?

American employers are not particularly known for being generous with employee vacation time, parental leave, or sick days. According to employment experts, many workers are afraid they will be singled out or stigmatized as lazy or unproductive if they make use of their allotted days off.

Other workers worry they will miss out on a promotion if they miss a day of work to attend a doctor’s appointment.

In fact, 55 percent of the American workforce declines to use their available vacation days. Because the majority of states in the U.S. are at-will employment states — which gives employers the right to fire a worker for any reason at all outside protected statuses, such as race and religion — few workers want to give their boss or employer an excuse to hand them a pink slip.

However, all this hard work may come at a steep cost. Medical professionals say there is a definitive link between being overworked and poor health.

Furthermore, 60 percent of workers surveyed say they aren’t comfortable using their paid time off to attend regular medical checkups, meaning many workers are foregoing important screenings that could detect disease and health problems.

Now, one doctor appointment scheduling app is promoting the idea of “unsick days,” which would be specifically earmarked for preventative care appointments.

According to a CNBC report, the creators of the Zocdoc app were motivated to start the trend after discovering that their own employees were not taking advantage of days off to seek routine health care.

When they looked at their own company culture, they were astonished to find that just one-third of their workers were using the menu of preventative services offered by the company’s health insurance plan.

Zocdoc has already partnered with 11 companies, which have agreed to give their workers an extra paid day off each year for regular medical checkups.

Regular Checkups Matter

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) agrees that regular medical checkups are important. Many diseases and conditions are treatable if they are caught early. Left untreated, however, an individual can require invasive or lengthy care, which can cost employers millions of dollars and patients additional stress, anxiety, and pain.

In fact, preventive care is so important, there is an entire branch of medicine devoted to it. The American College of Preventive Medicine is recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialists and focuses on the prevention of disease and death.

Any time you can stop a deadly or serious disease in its tracks, it’s a very merry unsick day, indeed.

Talk to a Physician-Attorney about Your Case

If you have been injured due to a doctor’s negligence or a hospital’s mistake, don’t wait to get legal help. A knowledgeable medical malpractice lawyer can explain your rights and help you determine the next steps in your case. Many of the lawyers at LawMD are also physicians. Call today to schedule your free case evaluation.

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