When a House Bill that required employers to provide paid sick leave was blocked Wednesday evening, one local restaurant is saying they will still send their employees home if they are sick.
With hundreds of classes and events across the country being cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, the issued of paid sick leave has raised many concerns.
Local restaurants are hoping that isn’t the case in the Rio Grande Valley.
“If there are less customers then that’s less money the servers are splitting as well, I mean we get an hourly rate, of course, but it’s not as much as getting tips,” said Ashley Brown, a server at House Wine, a popular bistro in Downtown McAllen, “In the valley and actually in most server industries, servers get paid $2.13 an hour or regular minimum wage, so we do rely on tips.”
Brown also explained what restaurants do when one of them gets sick, as most hourly employees do not have paid sick leave, “When you’re out of work for that time, you don’t get any type of pay,” she said.
However, restaurant managers say it’s crucial to keep customers healthy.
“Our first concern is public safety, we don’t want to get anyone else sick or exposed to anything, so the first thing we do is send them home if we see they might be feeling sick,”said Cahl Etua, a manager at House Wine Bistro.
And virus or not, hygiene is of the highest priority.
“This isn’t anything new to us, this is part of our every day culture, being clean, washing hands, sanitizing constantly, wearing gloves to make sure we don’t cause any of guests to contract any type of illness or sickness of whatever bugs might be out there,” said Etua.
Staff is taking all measures to ensure cleanliness, even wearing gloves now to count money at the end of shifts.
As of Wednesday night- there are still no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the Rio Grande Valley.