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Red Lobster Workers Say They’re Forced to Work Sick Through Pandemic

One of the largest restaurant chains in the U.S. pressured sick workers to come to work, even with COVID-19 symptoms.

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Red Lobster is one of the worst employers in America when it comes to providing paid sick leave. Only 12% of workers get sick pay. 63% of workers who reported being sick in the past month say they worked while sick. Meanwhile, Red Lobster’s parent company reported its highest quarterly profits ever.

In collaboration with journalist Judd Legum of Popular.Info, we interviewed Red Lobster employees about their horror stories. Red Lobster workers overwhelmingly said they have difficulty paying their bills, and 18% said they’d gone hungry in recent weeks because they couldn’t afford enough to eat.

As a part of Harvard’s Shift Project, over 90,000 restaurants workers were surveyed about their work experiences. Professor Daniel Schneider oversees the project and recognized the glaring difference between Red Lobster’s worker treatment and similarly-sized restaurant firms.

Only 12% of Red Lobster workers have paid sick leave compared to 49% of service workers overall. In a statement, Red Lobster blamed workers for coming in sick and defended their policy as industry-standard. But their paid sick leave rate is far below average for service workers, as noted.

Popular.Info Newsletter: https://popular.info/

Petition Demanding Sick Leave: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/sign-now-red-lobster-should-offer-paid-sick-leave-to-its-employees/

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