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Why calling out sick won’t be easy for minimum wage workers amid coronavirus outbreak

By Mary Kathryn Burke March 8, 2020

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website offer a simple solution for anyone who fears they might have symptoms of the novel coronavirus.

Colorful, sneezy, coughing, achy cartoon people warn: “STOP! Stay home when you are sick … rest … and remember to wash your hands often with soap and water.”

But for millions of Americans without paid sick leave, staying home isn’t an option and a lack of a paid leave could contribute to the spread of the deadly virus.

“I’ve definitely had to come in when I’m sick before,” said Fran Marion, a Kansas City, Missouri, single mom making $11.50 an hour at McDonald’s. “Missing a day’s income is the difference between a roof over your head next month, or keeping the lights on.”

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