Food workers without paid sick leave are making customers sick

Most people who work in the food industry do not get paid sick time

By Patrice Waite
February 19, 2016 5:30PM (UTC)
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FILE - In this Dec. 15, 2015, file photo, a Chipotle Mexican Grill employee prepares food, in Seattle. After an E. coli outbreak that sickened more than 50 people, Chipotle is changing its cooking methods to prevent the nightmare situation from happening again. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear, File) (AP)

More than 60 percent of restaurant workers have served food while sick, according to a study by the Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC). And in most case the workers have no alternative — they don't get paid sick leave.

The lack of sick leave for workers is a matter of life and death — 70% of reported norovirus outbreaks are caused by infected food workers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Some businesses are taking action — Chipotle recently began to roll out a paid sick leave program — and last year President Obama signed an Executive Order requiring businesses to give employees up to seven days of paid sick leave per year — but the order is not effective until 2017.

And in the meantime restaurant workers are forced to come to work sick.

Watch our video to find out more.

Patrice Waite

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