Most restaurants do not offer paid sick leave. In the wake of the coronavirus, 20 million people are expected to work even if they become ill, as they won’t get paid if they stay at home. That means workers who may be experiencing symptoms of the virus are not only still doing their job duties of prepping and serving food, but increasing the risk of exposure to coworkers or patrons. Not being able to take days off when sick disproportionately impacts Black and low-income workers. And this largely affects Black women as they overwhelmingly make up the low wage workforce of cooking, cleaning, and caregiving, interfacing with hundreds of people a day, without the ability to take time off if they have fallen sick. That’s why we’re calling on Congress to adopt stronger protections for Black workers that include paid sick leave.
Corporations like McDonald's, Burger King, Chick Fil A and others not only do not offer their workers necessary COVID-19 protections but actively lobby against them. These restaurants are putting profits ahead of public health by not ensuring their workers can take time as needed, to tend to their health. A lack of paid sick leave endangers employees, customers, and the health of the broader public. Studies show paid sick leave for unwell employees not only reduces the spread of disease but also allows for them to fully recover. Furthermore, paid sick leave reduces economic angst as there is a sense of protection and security.