This post suggests that it's not only a nice idea for pregnant women to get sick leave, but it's also economical. If a pregnant woman is sick or just simply exhausted (I think I can understand that!), giving her time off helps her be more productive.
Not every woman needs it, of course. I worked right up until I had my first baby. I didn't plan it that way, but babies don't pay much attention to calendars and he arrived early.
When you're growing another human being inside your body, strange things can happen. There's the ordinary tiredness and aches and pains. Then there's the weird unplanned-for stuff (I ended up in the emergency room more than once while pregnant--you never know).
I am a big proponent of sick leave. I think everyone should be entitled to it. The question I'm asking today is, should certain people have more? Should there be limits placed on sick leave by employers? What is reasonable for an employer to expect? When does your sick leave start to become a problem for your co-workers who are covering for you?
Making rules to cover sick leave is difficult, and I don't know of very many employers that explicitly lay out rules for which illnesses qualify and which ones don't. Pregnancy can obviously cause complications. But there are also long-term illnesses and chronic illnesses that make it difficult to perform a job.
But what about taking sick leave when you're not the one who's sick? What if it's a child or a parent needing extra care--perhaps not long-term, but for a few days at a time? Or even your widowed neighbor who's got a bad case of the flu and doesn't have family close by? What if that care requires more time than you're allotted for your personal leave, but you don't qualify for or can't afford to take FMLA leave?
These are difficult questions that many parents and caregivers of the elderly have to ask themselves. Sometimes it has to come down to a choice between their loved one and their job.
Unfortunately for the families and for the employers, something has to give. And I think we can do better.