Here Are the Occupations Most and Least Likely to Receive Paid Sick Days

Waiter cleaning tables at a restaurant
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If you’re a banker, financial planner or manager in an office job, you probably have regular access to paid sick days.

If you’re a waiter, you probably don’t.

That’s the conclusion in the latest data on workplace benefits released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In March, 93% of workers in the management, business and financial occupations had access to paid leave, while only 46% of service industry employees had those benefits.

Here’s a breakdown of the occupations the BLS studied and the probability that workers in each job type had paid sick days:

  • Management, business and financial: 93%
  • Professional and related: 85%
  • Office and administrative support: 79%
  • Installation, maintenance and repair: 73%
  • Sales and related: 64%
  • Transportation and material moving: 63%
  • Production: 62%
  • Construction, extraction, farming, fishing and forestry: 47%
  • Service: 46%

As of June, there were 27.4 million service workers in the U.S., meaning about 14.8 million employees had to either suck it up and go to work when they were sick, or forego much needed pay and take a sick day.

That’s compared to 1.7 million workers in management, business or financial jobs.

Not Offering Paid Sick Leave Has Its Consequences

The U.S. doesn’t currently have a mandate on paid sick leave, but these five states do. And non-profit workers’ rights organization Workplace Fairness has a list of cities that offer paid days off if you’re ill.

But even with sick-day policies in place, things can go awry. Although Chipotle does offer paid sick days, it recently learned the consequences of not enforcing that policy. A worker caused the company’s latest taco tragedy when they came to work ill and ended up infecting more than 100 customers at a location in Sterling, Virginia.

Chipotle has since established wellness screenings at its restaurants to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But such low numbers in service occupations offering paid sick days means plenty of other companies aren’t offering the benefit.

So, think about that number again: 46%. The real question is, who will be the next Chipotle?

Alex Mahadevan is a data journalist at The Penny Hoarder.