I was previously involved in advocating for paid sick leave on the federal level and was thrilled when DC passed sick leave leg (only the second city to do so). What I did not know until recently is that some workers were excluded from this critical benefit. Tipped wait staff, bartenders and some health care workers were not covered by this landmark law.
Last week, a bill was introduced (Barry, Mendleson) in DC to address those who were missing out. Nine members of the DC Council signed on to provide the 3-7 days of annual paid sick leave that others have enjoyed since 2008. Additionally, the waiting period for this leave would be reduced from one year to 90 days. As a working parent, I know this would make a huge difference for many DC families.
And let’s think about this, do you want a sick bartender mixing your favorite cocktail or hacking waiter serving your meal? It’s a public health issue as well. Further, I think the tide needs to shif t to protect the little guy who truly makes a business what it is.
Naysayers are moaning about how it will hurt bottom lines… Studies show that it hasn’t- not here in DC, not in Seattle. And it hasn’t been abused.
If you enjoy the DC restaurant scene, show your support. Reach out to the council, especially if you’re a resident.