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Report: Poor Conditions for Restaurant Workers Endangers Customers

Friday, September 11, 2009

A new report finds that poor conditions for low wage restaurant workers puts employees and customers' health at risk. The study, conducted by the advocacy group Restaurant Opportunities Center - surveyed more than 500 workers over four years. The group's Sekou Siby says 65 percent of food handlers who engage in dangerous consumer health practices have no access to benefits or sick days. He says workers feel they'll be fired if they call in sick.

SIBY: We had a worker who was working at the salad station with pink-eye. This is somebody that needed to stay home. But he cannot stay home because the manager tells him "You have to choose. If you stay home, we get to get another person."

Siby is urging passage of a City Council bill that would require employers to grant paid sick leave to employees.

The study was funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

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