On September 30, 2010 Restaurant Opportunities Centers United released “SERVING WHILE SICK,” the largest- ever study of the health conditions of restaurant workers based on over 4,300 surveys conducted in cities nationwide, including New York, Miami, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Washington D.C. 90% of workers reported that they did not receive paid sick days. 90% of workers reported not having health insurance through their employers. As a result, 63% reported preparing, cooking, and serving food while sick. The report, Serving While Sick: High Risks & Low Benefits for the Nation’s Restaurant Workforce, and Their Impact on the Consumer, demonstrates that a large majority of restaurant workers lack paid sick days and employer-sponsored health insurance, and thus two-thirds reported cooking and serving food while sick, with dramatic impacts on the consumer. Click here for the Executive Summary.

Press clippings here: New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun, MSNBC, Crains Business, Kansas City Star, Restaurant News, Eater.com, Carrer Diva, NY Magazine, NBC Detroit, AFL-CIO Blog, Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, Lexinton Herald Leader, and Insurance News.

Congressmember Rosa DeLauro, Saru Jayaraman, ROC-United, Vicki Shabo, Nat’l Partnership for Women & Families, Holly Howard, Egg Restaurant, Gloria Brown-Bristol, Restaurant Worker and member of ROC LA, and Dara Alpert Lieberman, Trust for America’s Health, addressed the standing-room-only audience of over 90 people at the report release Congressional Briefing. The report reveals that workers in the restaurant industry, one of the nation’s largest employment sectors, largely lack paid sick days and health insurance to cope with high rates of injury and illness, with dire consequences for workers and consumers.