Shortcut Navigation:


Waiter, There’s a Germ in My Soup


Next time you’re sitting down at your favorite restaurant, you may be getting an unordered side of germs with that cheeseburger or maybe unexpected exposure to the latest flu virus with that healthy garden salad. Why? Because, as this new video from the Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United illustrates, 90% of all restaurant workers have no paid sick days.

With the federal minimum wage for tipped restaurant workers set at $2.13 an hour (tips are supposed to bring the wage to the current $7.25 an hour minimum wage), these workers can’t afford to take a day off when sick and, according to a ROC survey, more than two-thirds of cooks, wait staff and others say they cooked, prepared and served food to customers while sick.

Now restaurant workers face even more health care issues with the recent news that a number of big chains, including Darden, Papa John's, Applebee's, Denny's, McDonald's and other restaurants have come out threatening to fire workers or cut hours and charge customers a surcharge in order to avoid having to provide decent affordable health care to their employees under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.  

Learn more from ROC and you can find out more about the conditions restaurant workers must deal with in the new book, Behind the Kitchen Door, by ROC co-founder Saru Jayaraman, now available for pre-order with all profits going to ROC.

Find out more about the campaign for paid sick days from the National Partnership for Women and Families and the coalition Family Values @ Work.

The email address provided does not appear to be valid. Please check the address entered and try again.
Thank you for signing up to receive our blog alerts. You will receive your first email shortly.

Related Stories

Take Action

Protect the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has done crucial work to safeguard Americans against the deceptive and abusive practices of big banks, student loan servicers, credit card companies and predatory lenders. Tell Congress to protect this important agency.

Sign the petition. »

Connect With Us

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Flickr

Get Email from AFL-CIO

Msg & data rates may apply. Text STOP to 235246 to stop receiving messages. Text HELP to 235246 for more information.


Join Us Online