By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New research says millions of people are putting their coworkers at risk by going to work sick. Cold and flu season has arrived and with it comes contagious germs that can easily make you sick. People are constantly told if you’re sick, stay home, but this research says many don’t.

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.

“I’ve gone to work in all kinds of conditions, almost with like something broken,” a man said.

New research says 90% of employees admit they’ve gone to work 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 employees to come in.

“When you think about that 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,” Robert Half District President Robert Deosingh said.

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

“If you’re not feeling well and you’re coughing and sneezing, it’s not a good way to take care of other people,” a woman said.

Doctors say colds and the flu are extremely contagious, which is why they tend to spread easily in close quarters like an office, so it’s important to stay home when you’re sick.

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

Researchers also suggest workers who feel sick think twice before pushing themselves too hard.

“Stay home, get better,” a man said.

Doctors usually say that you can go back to work five days after the onset of symptoms and 24 hours after your fever has cleared.

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

Stephanie Stahl