Saturday March 11, 2017

OCO Paid Leave Policy Supports Employee Health

Workers given paid leave for cancer screenings

    As one of Oswego County’s largest employers, leaders at Oswego County Opportunities realize the importance of a healthy workforce and expressing appreciation to their employees.

    With that in mind, OCO recently announced a new policy that provides its full- and part-time employees with up to four hours of paid leave annually to undergo cancer screenings.

    The policy is wide ranging and may be used for any form of cancer, including but not limited to breast, prostate, cervical, skin, colon, ovarian, bladder or lung cancer.

    OCO is among the first to implement a paid leave policy for cancer screening in New York state and the first nonprofit agency to do so in Oswego County.

    OCO Executive Director Diane Cooper-Currier and human resources director Cindy Seeber worked closely with the coordinator of OCO’s cancer services program, Carolyn Handville, to establish and implement the policy.

    "We care about our employees and their health and felt it was important to offer them paid time off to obtain life-saving cancer screenings,” Cooper-Currier noted.

    “OCO’s administration is well aware of the benefits of routine cancer screenings,” said Handville. “Regular tests such as imaging, biopsies, Pap smears, prostate screenings, mammograms, blood tests, and even surgical procedures for the purpose of detecting cancers are essential to maintain good health. Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in New York state. Early detection can save lives as it finds cancer when treatment is more likely to be successful and in some instances before it even develops. Evidence indicates that when individuals are given time off for cancer screenings, they are more apt to do so.”

    “The new paid leave policy is really a win-win. Preventive cancer screenings reduce health care costs, improve employee health, and reduce related business expenditures. The paid leave policy is an excellent example of the care and concern that OCO’s administration and board of directors have for its employees,” added Handville.