Tell U.S. Employers: Your Employees Need More Sleep!

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Sponsor: The Veterans Site

The U.S. can attribute $411 billion in economic losses each year to fatigued employees. We need more sleep!


Between 50 and 70 million working Americans suffer from sleep or wakefulness disorder, and it's hurting us all.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked those drowsy millions to occupational disasters, higher susceptibility to chronic disease, and motor vehicle accidents--liabilities well beyond a lack of productivity.

A study by the RAND Corporation found that the United States can attribute up to $411 billion in economic losses each year to workers who aren't getting enough sleep. That amounts to a record of 1.23 million working days a year.

The U.S. is sadly a global leader in this area, along with Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada. Sleeplessness, whether it's caused by overwork, overstimulation, or associated health issues like sleep apnea, is a detriment to our health.

We demand the country's employers recognize the right of its workers to be healthy, and that includes the right to sleep.

There's no doubt that proper rest contributes to better decision-making, a healthier workforce, and higher productivity. In fact, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that reduced hours for workers in an intensive care unit, allowing for more sleep between shifts, led to significantly reduced critical errors. The medical staff studied made 35 percent more serious medical errors when working the longer schedule, with shifts up to 24 hours or more.

In France, the significance of a well-rested workforce has been indicated by law. Weekend emails from French employers were deemed illegal in May 2016.

“The development of information and communication technologies, if badly managed or regulated, can have an impact on the health of workers,” Article 25 of the El Khomri law states. “Among them, the burden of work and the informational overburden, the blurring of the borders between private life and professional life, are risks associated with the usage of digital technology.”

In the U.S., Aetna has incentivized sleep for its workers. CNBC reported that Chairman and CEO Merk Bertolini will pay any employee $25 a night, for up to $500 a year, to any worker that can sleep for seven or more hours in a row. This innovative program has been tested, and it works, Bertolini says, as proven by a more alert workforce, and higher productivity.

Examples like Aetna in the U.S. are few and far between, however. The rest of the country has a lot of catching up to do, and precedent needs to be set at the federal level.

Sign below to ask the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor to utilize this knowledge, to make sleep a priority and enact new standards that aim to benefit employer and employee alike.

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The Petition:

To the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor,

Between 50 and 70 million working Americans suffer from sleep or wakefulness disorder, and it's hurting us all.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked those drowsy millions to occupational disasters, higher susceptibility to chronic disease, and motor vehicle accidents--liabilities well beyond a lack of productivity.

A study by the RAND Corporation found that the United States can attribute up to $411 billion in economic losses each year to workers who aren't getting enough sleep. That amounts to a record of 1.23 million working days a year.

The U.S. is sadly a global leader in this area, along with Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada. Sleeplessness, whether it's caused by overwork, overstimulation, or associated health issues like sleep apnea, is a detriment to our health.

I demand the country's employers recognize the right of its workers to be healthy, and that includes the right to sleep.

There's no doubt that proper rest contributes to better decision-making, a healthier workforce, and higher productivity. In fact, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that reduced hours for workers in an intensive care unit, allowing for more sleep between shifts, led to significantly reduced critical errors. The medical staff studied made 35 percent more serious medical errors when working the longer schedule, with shifts up to 24 hours or more.

In France, the significance of a well-rested workforce has been indicated by law. Weekend emails from French employers were deemed illegal in May 2016.

“The development of information and communication technologies, if badly managed or regulated, can have an impact on the health of workers,” Article 25 of the El Khomri law states. “Among them, the burden of work and the informational overburden, the blurring of the borders between private life and professional life, are risks associated with the usage of digital technology.”

In the U.S., Aetna has incentivized sleep for its workers. CNBC reported that Chairman and CEO Merk Bertolini will pay any employee $25 a night, for up to $500 a year, to any worker that can sleep for seven or more hours in a row. This innovative program has been tested, and it works, Bertolini says, as proven by a more alert workforce, and higher productivity.

Mr. Secretary, examples like Aetna are few and far between, however. The rest of the country has a lot of catching up to do, and precedent needs to be set at the federal level. I demand that you enact new standards that reflect this knowledge, that aim to benefit employer and employee alike by making sleep a priority.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: