Imagine that you work in a restaurant to support your family. One day you wake up feeling awful. Lying in bed, you realize that if you don’t go to work, you’re not going to be able to pay the rent. Even worse, imagine that you are healthy, but your young child is sick. Can you afford to take the day off to care for him? Or will you send him to school while you work, and just hope he gets better?
This scenerio is all too real for thousands of workers in DC. In 2008, Washington, D.C. passed a groundbreaking law allowing many workers in the District of Columbia to take paid time off to recover from illness or instances of domestic violence. However, this law does not cover everyone. Tipped restaurant workers were excluded from the law, even though these workers can still get sick and spread illness to others.
Nearly 80% of restaurant workers cannot earn paid sick days, and as a result, almost 60% of restaurant workers in the District reported preparing, cooking, and serving food while sick. This increases the health risks to workers and consumers.
Food is not sustainable without sustainable jobs for food workers. JUFJ is working as a part of the Paid Sick Days for All Coalition to demand justice from our favorite restaurants. Join the Paid Sick Days for All campaign to ensure that no worker has to choose between taking care of their health and earning a day’s pay.
Healthy Workers, Healthy Businesses, A Healthy District