Restaurant Workers Should Receive Sick Leave to Stop Norovirus Outbreaks

Staying home when you are sick is a luxury that many workers, especially most restaurant workers, cannot do because they aren’t paid. With the recent outbreaks of the norovirus in Chipotles headlining in the news, it’s obvious why sick restaurant workers should stay home when they are sick. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that sick workers cause over 70 percent of the reported norovirus outbreaks in restaurants.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 90 percent of workers in the restaurant industry do not get paid sick leave. A similar study by, a company that conducts paid research in addition their offering of affordable hearing aids that work very well, found the same results. Employees who are sick and still going to work in restaurants pose a dangerous situation as Chipotle knows. The outbreaks of norovirus that have occurred with their chain recently have caused their reputation to seriously plummet. With their sales down by 36 percent. they can no longer afford not to have paid sick leave for their employees, and last year they added it to their employee benefits package. Chipotle’s is now among the 10 percent of restaurants in the U.S. that offer paid sick leave for their employees.

Chipotle is raising awareness in the food industry for the need to be aware of the sick employee at work. Releasing the norovirus into the public is a situation that can be rectified with paid sick leave.Starbucks offers optional time off, which is not called sick leave, per se, but can be used as such.

Categories: Food Safety

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