Perhaps it’s not surprising but public employees take significantly more time off from work than workers in the private sector. As pointed out in Steven Malanga’s City Journal article, there are various causes promoting this difference between employees in the private and public sectors. Among other things, public sector employees can often retire on full disability while continuing to work full time in other jobs. Many jurisdictions such as New York City apparently offer better retirement benefits to those who retire with a disability thus prompting disability claims just before retirement.
Elsewhere, as in California, there are statutory presumptions that certain conditions, such as HIV, are work related in origin. California even has a statutory presumption that lower back strains of police officers are work related thus recognizing what’s irreverently called “the donut disability”.