While paid sick leave would now be in the RESTAURANTS Act, thanks to ROC United’s efforts, the Right to Return and Hazard Pay are also critically needed to protect restaurant workers and their families impacted by the pandemic.
Restaurants need support during this critical time. One-fourth of all unemployed workers are restaurant workers. The government supported the airline industry, which it needed as much as restaurants do, but it made sure to take care of the employees of the airlines. It shouldn’t be any different for restaurant employees.
The RESTAURANTS Act was introduced on a bipartisan basis in both the Senate and in the House. This bill would establish the $120 billion Independent Restaurant Revitalization Fund geared toward assisting small restaurants and bars impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. If restaurant owners are getting the Revitalization Fund — so must the restaurant workers to support them in the challenging months and years ahead.
The Right to Return policy provides restaurant workers the right to get their jobs back. Every business that receives a bailout through the RESTAURANTS Act must first offer rehiring opportunities to their former employees, before hiring new employees.
The Right to Return is critical to protecting the restaurant workforce against large companies and franchisors who will use COVID-19 as an opportunity to cut costs by letting go of their experienced, higher-paid workers in favor of new, lower-paid workers.
Restaurant workers are frontline workers. While the risks they encounter by doing their jobs are imminent, there has been no immediate policy change to ensure they earn federally-mandated hazard or premium pay, on top of safety measures and life-saving PPE to protect them from the coronavirus.
As long as employers are receiving federal tax dollars to keep their businesses running, they must, in turn, ensure fair and living wages for the people who help keep that business afloat. Hazard pay must be sufficient to ensure that restaurant workers being paid less than a living wage are adequately and properly compensated.
You are leaving rocunited.org
By clicking “GO” below, you will be directed to a website operated by an independent ROC MI VOTE entity. You will be redirected to: https://rocmivote.org/