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Access to selected pay protection benefits, March 2014

September 17, 2015

Employer-provided sick leave and disability benefits plans provide pay protection to ill or injured workers who would otherwise suffer loss of income due to non-work-related injuries or illnesses. In the United States, paid sick leave may be provided by employers, although such coverage is mandatory only in a few states and localities. An estimated 61 percent of private industry workers were covered by a paid sick leave plan in March 2014; coverage varied by occupation, establishment size, industry, and other factors.

In March 2014, 82 percent of management, professional, and related workers have paid sick leave, compared with 63 percent of workers in sales and office occupations.

Percentage of workers with access to selected pay protection benefits, by occupation, March 2014
Occupation Access to paid sick leave Access to short-term disability benefits

Management, professional, and related

82 54

Sales and office

63 38

Production, transportation, and material moving

56 47

Natural resources, construction, and maintenance

54 40

Service

40 20

The larger the establishment size, the more likely its workers had access to paid sick leave or short-term disability benefits. In establishments with 500 or more employees, 81 percent of workers had access to paid sick leave, while only 50 percent of workers for establishments employing 1 to 50 persons had access.

Percentage of workers with access to selected pay protection benefits, by establishment size, March 2014
Establishment size Access to paid sick leave Access to short-term disability benefits

500 or more workers

81 62

100–499 workers

65 46

50–99 workers

56 37

1–49 workers

50 26

By industry, employees working in the information sector had the greatest access to paid sick leave (91 percent), followed by those in the financial activities industry (86 percent). Employees in the leisure and hospitality industry had the least access (28 percent).

Percentage of workers with access to selected pay protection benefits, by industry, March 2014
Industry Access to paid sick leave Access to short-term disability benefits

Information

91 79

Financial activities

86 65

Education and health services

74 34

Professional and business services

64 44

Service providing

61 37

Goods producing

59 54

Other services

54 27

Leisure and hospitality

28 16

These data are from the National Compensation Survey and are featured in the September 2015 Monthly Labor Review article “Pay protection during temporary absences from work: what we know and what we don’t know” by William J. Wiatrowski.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Access to selected pay protection benefits, March 2014 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/access-to-selected-pay-protection-benefits-march-2014.htm (visited June 25, 2021).

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