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Without Paid Leave, Food Workers Go To Work Sick

For many workers in the food service industry, getting paid depends on showing up, even when you're sick.

While 47 percent of food workers worked through illness to avoid missing pay, 46 percent worked to avoid burdening their fellow coworkers.

More than half of food workers go into work even when sick, a new survey found.

Alchemy polled 1,200 food workers across the United States and Canada and found 51 percent responded they “always” or “frequently” go into work while sick.

It’s not that food workers don’t care about the health of their patrons — on the contrary, 9 out of 10 polled responded they cared about the safety and well-being of their customers. Instead, food workers worried about lost wages or feared retaliation if they took time off.

Most food workers — 79 percent according to 2012 data — don’t have paid sick leave. One of the lowest paying jobs is food service, where many simply can’t afford to take an unpaid day.

Read More:

  • Survey: Half Of Food Workers Go To Work Sick Because They Have To (The Salt)
  • More Than Half Of US Food Workers Still Go To Work Even When Sick (Tech Times)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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