Chipotle Employees Will Now Get Paid Sick Leave

Even clouds made of E. coli and salmonella have silver linings
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2016 6:50 PM CST
Chipotle Employees Will Now Get Paid Sick Leave
Outbreaks that sickened dozens of Chipotle customers at the end of 2015 may result in paid sick leave for employees.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

It looks like one good thing might come out of the various Chipotle outbreaks that sickened dozens of people across nine states at the tail end of 2015. Consumerist reports the restaurant chain will announce paid sick leave for employees during a company-wide meeting in February. The idea is that if sick employees have less of a reason to come to work—and potentially contaminate the food—fewer customers will find themselves ill. The paid sick leave goes along with a new food safety protocol being put into place, and the chain promised to release more information about what caused the problems.

Following cases of E. coli, norovirus, and salmonella linked to Chipotle, the restaurant previously announced it would be closing for four hours on Feb. 8 to discuss the outbreaks with workers and what it will do to prevent them. At least one competitor plans to take full advantage, notes the Chicago Tribune: The chain Freshii will be offering 50% off to customers who order Mexican dishes that day. Chipotle stocks have been cut nearly in half since the outbreaks were first reported, and sales dropped 30% in December. (And now the feds are involved.)

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