The Line Cook And You And The Flu

Sarumathi Jayaraman, co-founder of food worker advocacy group Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United), talks to Mother Jones about the lack of sick leave for service workers: “An employer in New York actually openly told us that it’s kind of a joke in our industry that our industry is single-handedly responsible for perpetuating the flu in the winter season because everyone knows restaurant workers work when they’re sick … Everybody knows it, and it just happens. It’s just tragic.”

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Yes! I was at my favorite sandwich place and the guy making my sandwich was very clearly sick. I was thought to myself, “He should have called in.” But I quickly realized he needs this paycheck and calling in sick is a luxury he most likely can’t afford. Food service workers should be able to call in sick without repercussions.

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