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Your Waiter May Give You Swine Flu

Anyone familiar with the restaurant industry knows it's all too common for waiters and cooks to come to work while sick. A) Most don't get paid sick leave and B) it's sometimes impossible to get a shift covered. Per the Times today: "Ricardo Copantitla, a food server at Thalassa, a restaurant in the TriBeCa neighborhood of Manhattan, said he called in sick last year when he had the seasonal flu, not H1N1. 'The restaurant said you have to come to work, because they were short of people,' he said. 'I had a bad cough, and I felt tired and terrible. But I went to work because I feared being fired.'"

As it so happens, there is a Paid Sick Leave bill currently before the City Council that requires employers to provide one hour of sick pay for every 30 hours worked, up to 72 hours of leave total. However reps for the New York State Restaurant Association have said the bill would be "crippling" to the industry.
· Fears That Lack of Paid Sick Days May Worsen Flu Pandemic [NYT]
[Photo via City Room]

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