A new study from advocacy group Restaurant Opportunities Centers-United Miami says 40 percent of Miami-Dade restaurant employees who worked sick admitted coughing or sneezing while handling food, an alarming statistic made worse because 74 percent of those who did work sick said they could not afford to take the day off without pay.
"The workers who can least afford to call in sick and take a day without pay are the most likely to endanger others due to their high interaction with the public," states the report, embedded below, which notes that the county's restaurant industry has become its 3rd largest private sector employer with some 72,700 workers. Among other notable findings, according to the survey:
- Nine out of ten Miami restaurant workers have no access to earned paid sick days.
- Nearly half report having worked while sick.
- Among those, two-fifths had illnesses worsened as a result of going to work, increasing negative consequences for themselves and their families.
- More than 10 percent reported infecting people they worked with.
- Five percent admitted serving potentially contaminated food (whether expired, dirty or leftover) to customers.
- 63.6 percent said they had no access to health insurance; 46.1 percent of those respondants reported never having seen a doctor.
(click headline to read complete report)