“You either come in or you don't have a job the next day,” says John, who is a server at a restaurant in Brooklyn, New York. John is one of thousands of workers in the restaurant industry who face strenuous work environments with little access to benefits. This includes the lack of health insurance and paid sick days. In a recent survey conducted by the Restaurant Opportunities Center United, it was revealed that 63% of restaurant workers have cooked or served while sick. What this essentially means is that employees who should be receiving medical attention are instead being forced to work tirelessly, jeopardizing not only their own safety, but also that of others around them, including the consumer.
If you're about to eat in a restaurant, you should read this first.
Or then again, maybe you'd rather not.
A report being released at a Congressional hearing later this morning by the D.C.-based Restaurant Opportunities Centers United ("a national restaurant workers' organization, comprised of restaurant worker organizations across the country," according to its Web site) says, among other key findings from its survey of more than 4,000 restaurant workers nationwide, that "nearly 90% of workers said they did not receive paid sick days. As a result, two thirds of respondents said they had worked while sick in the previous year, preparing, cooking and serving food."-Why you should care about paid sick leave