Chris Hayes: “Now we know” food workers without sick days make you sick

On this weekend’s MSNBC show Up With Chris Hayes, host Chris Hayes addressed the millions of food workers who can’t take a day off when they get sick with a virus like the flu:

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If you don’t want to watch the video, a transcript is below.

A new Centers for Disease Control study shows that most norovirus outbreaks, between 53 and 82%, can be traced to a sick food worker. Nearly 80% of food workers don’t have paid sick days — or don’t know whether they do — so they are forced to either go to work sick or miss out on a much-needed paycheck.

Hayes advised New Yorkers who come down with the norovirus to send “a note of gratitude” to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has been holding up a paid sick days bill for more than 1000 days. Instead, you might want to sign our petition urging her to allow a vote on the bill.

Full transcript:

We now know that restaurants that refuse to give their employees paid sick days could be making you sick.

A nasty gastrointestinal bug raging through the country that I had the misfortune of getting to know first-hand over winter break is being transmitted chiefly by food workers. A recent Center for Disease control study identified infected food workers as a source of between 53 and 82% of norovirus outbreaks. We know the Food Chain Workers Alliance reports that nearly 80% of food workers don’t have paid sick days or don’t know they do, which means most food workers who already make very little money must choose between coming to work sick or forfeiting a day’s wages and when they make the decision to work even though ill, well, you may end up ill as well.

We know here in New York, several members of the City Council have proposed a bill that would require employers to give workers just five sick days a year, but Council President and mayoral hopeful Christine Quinn opposes this common sense measure and has not brought it to the floor for a vote.

If you’re a New Yorker who’s had the misfortune of contracting the norovirus, maybe you should send Christine Quinn a note of gratitude.

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