As City Commissioner Amanda Fritz puts her much-debated sick leave requirement on next Wednesday's City Council agenda, her staff has run into an odd problem: Nobody in city government knows which businesses offer their employees sick days, and which don't.
"I've been staring into that darkness," says Fritz's chief of staff Tom Bizeau.
Fritz's proposal, mandating that all Portland businesses give employees at least one week off for illness, was formally submitted to the Council agenda today. But Bizeau says the council doesn't know how many companies it might affect, since the City Clerk's Business License Administrator doesn't track employee benefits.
But Fritz's office has a rough sense of which businesses don't want mandatory sick leave to pass: The Oregon Restaurant Association opposes it. Grocers are also worried: Most of the big grocery chains offer a day off only on the third day of illness.
We eagle-eyed reporters at WW noticed a link here: Both restaurants and grocers handle food.
"The restaurant association is experiencing a little indigestion over this," Bizeau says.
That's an apt word choice, especially with Oregon undergoing a wave of norovirus—which is passed along from feces or vomit, often when someone handling food fails to wash his or her hands.
Since no city records exist about what restaurants make their servers show up when they are pooping too much, we decided to put the question to you, readers.
Have you worked for a company that made you come in while sick? Did you have to handle food? Tell us all about it in the comments.
We're going to redact company names, but if you want us to look into a specific company, send tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.