Work, Financial Pressures Make Workers Reluctant to Call in Sick, Survey Reveals

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By Martin Berman-Gorvine

Jan. 12 — One-third of U.S. workers hesitate to call in sick to work when they are ill, consumer product manufacturer Procter & Gamble found in a recent survey.

“We were surprised to see just how many U.S. respondents were reluctant to call in sick when experiencing a cold or flu,” Dave Tomasi, North American marketing director for the company's Vicks brand over-the-counter cold medicines, said in a Jan. 8 statement. No less than 334 out of the 1,000 U.S. respondents felt that way, a company spokesperson said in a Jan. 12 e-mail to Bloomberg BNA.

“The leading motive for deciding not to take a sick day, as reported by respondents, was work pressures (44.9 percent),” followed by “financial concerns (42.5 percent) and fear of falling behind at the office (33.5 percent),” the company said.

The opt-in survey was conducted for P&G by Survey Monkey in two waves from April to July 2014, with 15,000 responses collected from 15 countries: the U.S., Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, India, Indonesia, China, Mexico, Australia and Brazil.

Flu Concerns

“The influenza virus circulating this year has mutated, and federal officials have warned that this year's vaccine may not provide as much protection—this has a lot of people very nervous,” Vicks spokesperson Nurse Barb Dehn said in the Jan. 8 statement.

“I recommend that sick patients get plenty of rest at home, if they can, to limit the spread of the virus,” Dehn added. “As always, consult with your health care provider.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Martin Berman-Gorvine in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Nadel at

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