US: Many food workers keep working while sick, survey finds
Posted: June 7th, 2012 - 9:16pm
We've all probably been there, at work, feeling crummy, when we should be home in bed. Maybe we do it because we need the money, or we feel like we can't miss that super important meeting. But what if you work with food and coming in sick means potentially infecting hundreds of other people?
A coalition of food labor groups says it happens a lot, and they blame the lack of paid sick days for people who pick, process, sell, cook and serve food.
That's the word from the Food Chain Workers Alliance; their report out today says that more than half of all food workers come to work sick because they can't afford to take a day off.
In their survey of employees and employers, the Alliance found that only 13.5 percent of workers earn "livable wages." The rest receive below minimum wage or low wages, and have little or no access to paid sick days and health benefits. Only 21 percent of the workers surveyed said they could take a paid sick day.