Reader: Restaurants should be required to provide sick leave and health benefits

Categories: Cafe Society

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The Denver Department of Environmental Health is responsible for inspecting over 3,500 brick-and-mortar food establishments -- as well as mobile food trucks and events. Some restaurateurs think that the department went too far in recent years, when the fines assessed eateries soared. And after a year of discussions between health department officials, restaurateurs and food industry experts, on January 1 the city introduced a new timeline for inspections, and a reduced schedules of fines.

But one reader thinks that's just the start of what should be done to protect the public health....

See also:
- Check please! Keeping tabs on Denver's health-department inspection policy
- Frank Bonanno admits he's a "dick" when it comes to court battles with the health department
- Frank Bonanno asks: "Is it my fault someone stunk up the bathroom?"

Says hollyjarmstrong:

This also highlights why restaurants should be required to provide sick leave and health benefits to their workers (in addition to increasing base wage to at least minimum wage). Passing norovirus (or other illnesses) will never be completely eliminated but we can certainly help minimize the risk if we make sure workers are not cooking or serving food when they are sick. Many of these workers cannot afford to stay home so they buck up and go to work.

Would you pay more at restaurants knowing that it was going to health benefits for employees? Post your thoughts below -- or join the conversation already under way after Lori Midson's story.

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How many workers do you think will use those sick days for when they are actually sick and have to potentially of making their coworkers and customers sick?  They will be used for hangovers and "personal days".  

Not saying they shouldn't have coverage, but the argument used here is BS.  And anyone who has worked in a restaurant knows it.


People who have never worked in a restaurant should not comment on how to run them. Most servers do not make a base minimum wage nor do support staff.  Servers are responsible for supporting the pay of all bussers, bartenders, food runners, host, sometimes dish washers, and sometimes kitchen crews (which is illegal).  Some servers tip up to 30-35% (sometimes more) of their tips to subsidize others salaries. I have heard of managers requiring to be tipped out (illegal). Employers need to be held accountable to the amounts they are requiring servers to tip out and required to pay support staff at least minimum wage so more money stays in these hardworking people's pockets so they can afford insurance themselves. Employers are requiring service staff to pay more and more because they don't want to pay these support staff themselves. Servers don't report these abuses or complain for fear of losing employment, but there is a lot of abuse in regards to required  tipping out. Tipping pooling should be illegal as well. 


Holly Armstrong is confused.  All restaurants pay their employees at least minimum wage (usually considerably more), with one exception...servers.  That's because servers receive TIPS.  Believe me servers at high volume restaurants make a very very nice salary.  As for healthcare, if we can find a way that works for employees and restaurants, I am certain restaurants would be more than willing. But amendment 300 was poorly worded, impossible to enact and would have put most small businesses out of business.  Clearly that is the last thing anyone wants.

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