Study: Many employees admit going to work sick

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NEW YORK (CBS) We all know the familiar refrain -- "If you're sick, stay home!" But why do millions of Americans choose to go to work instead of calling out sick.

With the dreaded cold and flu season fast approaching, many Americans with fevers, coughs, and runny noses will be forced to make a decision -- go to work sick or stay at home?

New research from the staffing firm Accountemps finds 90 percent of employees admit they've come to the office with cold or flu symptoms. Most of those who reported to the office say they did so because they had too much work on their plate, didn't want to use sick time, or felt pressure from their employer to come in.

"When you think about, you know, there are more jobs than skilled talent, it is conceivable that workers do go to work because of limited resources within that company as well as tight deadlines for the job that they have," said Richard Deosingh with Robert Half, a staffing agency.

Among the 28 U.S. cities in the study, Charlotte, Miami, Austin, Chicago and Cincinnati are the top five where employees show up sick.

According to the study, bosses should set the example when sick by taking time off and encouraging employees to work from home.

"The last thing you want is prolong your recovery, but you don't want to get colleagues sick as well," Deosingh said.

Researchers also suggest workers who feel sick think twice before pushing themselves too hard. They say the key is to relax, rest and recharge.