For Immediate Release: September 5, 2014
Contact: Maria Myotte, maria [at] rocunited [dot] org, 212.243.6900
Following the California legislature’s passage late Friday of statewide paid sick days, Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and co-director of ROC United, issued the following statement:
“The passage of this bill means millions of restaurant workers in California will no longer live in fear of being forced to work while sick, or losing their job instead of staying home to take care of themselves or their families. The restaurant industry is one of the sectors where such a policy is most needed, as 90% of restaurant workers surveyed nationally report not having paid sick days, and more than 60% report having to cook, prepare, and serve food to millions of restaurant goers while sick. California has finally joined the nine cities that have already enacted similar policies, but the momentum to fulfill paid sick days as a basic worker’s right must continue to grow.
“However, in an extremely disappointing move, home care workers were excluded at the last minute from the CA bill. Restaurant workers, especially tipped workers, like home care workers, are predominantly women — and we are routinely left out of paid sick day protections and minimum wage increases in what should be regarded as an attack, or at the very least, outright disrespect of the female workforce.
“Hopefully the irony is not lost on the CA legislature that as a result of this exclusion, the women whose job it is to care for someone else’s families have not been afforded the very basic, protected right to take care of their own.”
Co-founded by leading workers’ rights advocate, Saru Jayaraman (“One of the top 50 most influential people in the restaurant industry” – Nation’s Restaurant News), ROC United has grown to over 13,000 members across 26 cities in the US, winning 15 worker-led campaigns, totaling $8 million in stolen tips and wages.