A study published in the American Journal of Public Health estimates an additional five million people got sick with flu symptoms in 2009 because they didn't have paid sick leave.
Companies trying to skimp on costs may actually be creating more expenses for themselves.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates a typical flu season costs businesses about $10.4 billion for insurance coverage for hospitalizations and outpatient visits.
That doesn't include the cost of lost productivity and sales that comes along with the disease.
The liberal think tank Center for American Progress says the United States is the only developed country without a law guaranteeing employees the right to paid sick days.