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My company does not provide sick leave or paid vacation. They replaced it with "PTO" to make it easier to treat a de jure salaried employee like a de facto hourly wage-earning employee.

I have no time-card code to use for hours that I cannot work, due to being involuntarily banished from the office due to illness.

So guess what, people? If I'm sick, and I feel like I can work, I'm coming in to the office. If I don't work 40 hours in a week, my pay gets docked. (Actually, the computerized system forces me to "request" that my own pay be docked.) And if I need to take PTO time for a sniffle, I can't use it later, in lieu of actual vacation. So if anyone orders me to go home, that order had better be accompanied by a check.

If Sneezy McHackencoff gets the entire rest of the office sick, that is a direct consequence of the employer's worker-hostile HR policy. Don't blame the messenger. Your company consciously decided that it does not want to provide you with a salubrious work environment, in order to move inconvenient "future obligations" off their balance sheets. If they gave out sick leave and vacation, they would have to keep some money in the bank, to pay you when you use it. And you could use it at any time, so it has to be very liquid. Obviously, they would rather earn a higher rate of interest on that cash, if they have it, and also not have to pay it to you if you still have time left when you leave the company.

Sick leave is just one of the benefits that even the simplest and weakest of collective-bargaining units can enforce, and one of the things that is becoming harder and harder to find around here.

Back when I actually had sick leave, I used it appropriately. I'm very sorry about possibly making my peers sick now, but if you keep using your own energy to cover things up, management will never get any firsthand experience with the potential damage their stupid personnel policies can wreak on the business. I'm not trying to get you sick. I'm trying to get upper management and HR to reinstate sick leave, without getting "at will" fired for being an uppity peon. Getting each other sick is the only leverage we have. Don't go around sneezing on other people's keyboards. That's malicious intent. Just go in to work, and go about your business as usual. If anyone suggests that you should go home, say "I would have stayed home, but I have no sick leave, and I can't afford to not work today."

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