Working Moms

Sick people at Work

I work in a sea of cubicles and there is a "gentleman" that sits in front of me that always comes to work sick. He either claims he is not sick at all or blaims it on allergies. But everytime he comes in sick he gets someone else sick-- usually me. This happened yet again last week and now I am suffering with a terrible head cold-- 5 weeks pregnant-- with not many options for treatment. I'm not ready to tell my boss and coworkers I am pregnant so right now it seems I just need to focus on getting over this cold and being healthy. My question is if he comes back to work again visibly sick, would it be fair for me to tell my boss I am pregnant and I do not want to be subjected to this guy's germs?

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Re: Sick people at Work

  • rvascrvasc
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    That's a tough call. People have to go to work with colds. I do. Otherwise, I'd miss a few days every couple weeks! Now, if it's like strep or something, that is different.  Is he using good hygiene? Are you? You are going to be subjected to germs everywhere. I would say if he isn't covering his mouth, washing his hands, etc. you should say something about that, but I don't think telling people with colds to stay home until they are symptom free is going to work anywhere.

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  • image RVASC811:
    That's a tough call. People have to go to work with colds. I do. Otherwise, I'd miss a few days every couple weeks! Now, if it's like strep or something, that is different.  Is he using good hygiene? Are you? You are going to be subjected to germs everywhere. I would say if he isn't covering his mouth, washing his hands, etc. you should say something about that, but I don't think telling people with colds to stay home until they are symptom free is going to work anywhere.

    I know people have to work and it may not be ideal to go to work when you have a cold but he never covers his mouth when he coughs, sneezes, etc. and we have to use the same printer, copier etc. People have called him out on it before but he always  says its just allergies. Also, in our positions we are able to work from home! Two months ago our boss sent him home because he had pink eye and everyone was freaking out! I have gone as far as to bring in Lysol spray and wipes to use in my cube and in any common areas. I also keep a big bottle of hand sanitizer on my desk.

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  • No, you can't make someone stay home. A cold really isn't a reason to call out of work anyway.
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  • No, you can't make a big stink about germs just because you're pregnant. The world doesn't stop turning because you can't take Sudafed anymore. I had to ride the subway when I was pregnant, exposed to hundreds of germs everyday, and I just used common sense: washing my hands when coming indoors, not touching my eyes or mouth, etc.

    I don't like it when people send their sick kids to daycare who then get my DD sick who then gets me sick who then gets my DH sick. But that's life. Colds suck but it is what it is.
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  • shannmshannm
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    No, you should not do that. Wash your hands frequently and don't touch your face.

  • I would ask to move cubicles regardless of being pregnant.
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  • image RVASC811:
    That's a tough call. People have to go to work with colds. I do. Otherwise, I'd miss a few days every couple weeks! Now, if it's like strep or something, that is different.  Is he using good hygiene? Are you? You are going to be subjected to germs everywhere. I would say if he isn't covering his mouth, washing his hands, etc. you should say something about that, but I don't think telling people with colds to stay home until they are symptom free is going to work anywhere.

    This. I wouldn't send home my employee because he/she had cold symptoms. Strep/something serious is a very different story... I even go into work with a cold sometimes. However, I provide Lysol and hand sanitizer and disinfect wipes for the employees to use and I have some in my personal office at the store. 

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  • I'm guilty of going to work sick.  Unless I have a fever or throwing up, I go to work.  I used all my sick days for my maternity leave and lost $250/day I was out for DS being sick.  Like pp said, there are meds you can take while pregnant.  My OB gave me a list and I also asked my pharmacist. 


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  • By the time one shows symptoms of a cold they have already been contagious and spread their germs. You just need to stay 3 feet away from those type of people and practice good hygiene regardless if you are pregnant or not.
  • image shannm:
    No, you should not do that. Wash your hands frequently and don't touch your face.

    This, and I would bring lysol wipes to use in "common" areas like the printer an copier.

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  • Nope. I worked in a cubicle place when I was pregnant with DD1.. I was in my 3rd trimester in the winter. Everyone around me was sick. I never once thought to complain. What are they gonna do? Stick me in a bubble? No. I avoided being sick by keeping good hygiene, taking vitamins, etc.

    Now I work in a daycare and am pregnant with DD2. And I have caught a couple colds. I lived. You will too.
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