Over 12.9. million Americans work in the restaurant industry, making it one of the largest private-sector employers in the country. The term “food-service” industry casts a wide net, covering little corner coffee shops, five star establishments with celebrity chefs and everything in between. No matter how meek or lavish a restaurant may be, their employees often share a common experience – no health insurance coverage.
A recent report put out by the Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA) revealed some facts that might be surprising to anyone who has never worked in a restaurant.
- 79 percent don’t have paid sick leave – or don’t know if they do
- 83 percent don’t get health insurance from their employer
- 58 percent don’t have health care at all
- 53 percent worked while they were sick
- 35 percent have used the emergency room as their primary care
As you can see, restaurant workers are often being hit with a double whammy when they get sick. Not only do they have to pay for out-of-pocket for health care, but they are not compensated for the days of work they miss.
Here are some ways that health reform will be impacting millions of restaurant workers:
individual health insurance coverage. Even if their employer does offer coverage, they can choose not to participate and seek out their own plan.