house resolution no.162

Reps. Hope, Rheingans, Andrews, Scott, Byrnes, Brixie, Dievendorf, McFall, Coffia, Wilson, Wegela and Farhat offered the following resolution:

A resolution to adopt a restaurant workers bill of rights.

Whereas, There are over four hundred thousand restaurant workers in Michigan and over eleven million in the United States, comprising approximately ten percent of the overall workforce on the state and national levels; and

Whereas, Over sixty percent of American adults report working in the restaurant industry at some point during their lives. Forty-eight percent report having had their first regular job in a restaurant; and

Whereas, The restaurant industry is very diverse. Fifty-four percent of workers in the industry are women, nearly half are workers of color, and over twenty percent are immigrants; and

Whereas, Restaurant workers are more than twice as likely to live in poverty than the general workforce, and access food stamps at twice the rate of the overall workforce; and

Whereas, Michigans tipped minimum wage is just $3.84 per hour and many employers do not offer health insurance; and

Whereas, Restaurant employees experience wage theft and other violations of wage and hour laws at alarmingly high rates. Restaurant workers are robbed of their wages by not being paid overtime, having tips withheld, and being paid less than the minimum wage. A U.S. Department of Labor investigation of over nine thousand restaurants found that eighty-four percent of those restaurants violated wage and hours laws; and

Whereas, The restaurant industry is filled with racism and sexism. Restaurant workers experience racism not only from customers, but also restaurant owners and management who deny minorities employment and promotion. The rate of sexual harassment among female restaurant workers is the highest of any industry, with female workers filing sexual harassment charges at twice the rate of the general workforce. One survey of restaurant workers found that more than seventy percent of women reported having been sexually harassed in the workplace; and

Whereas, Low wages, unjust working conditions, and lack of access to meaningful health care coverage, including reproductive healthcare, can significantly affect restaurant workers decisions about pregnancy and whether to become a parent, and disproportionally affects women and people of color; and

Whereas, The United States is currently the only member country of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development without a national paid family leave program and one of only a few high-income countries without a national family caregiving or medical leave policy. Most restaurant workers have no guaranteed paid or unpaid leave. This leaves the vast majority of restaurant workers to face the impossible choice between caring for their newborn infant or retaining their employment; and

Whereas, In a survey of the impacts COVID-19 had on the restaurant industry, sixty-eight percent of respondents said that someone in their workplace had tested positive for COVID-19 as of 2021, and one in ten restaurant workers went to work with COVID-19 symptoms because of economic pressures including the risk of losing income, lack of adequate sick leave, and fear of retaliation by their employer; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we believe that restaurant workers deserve to have their government work in consultation, collaboration, and partnership with the restaurant industry, labor unions, civil society groups, academia, and businesses to ensure that all restaurant workers are entitled to the following rights:

1. The right to economic stability and to be paid a livable and fair wage.

2. The right to have access to safe and affordable housing.

3. The right to high-quality, affordable childcare.

4. The right to be economically secure in retirement.

5. The right to paid leave for illness, to care for family members, and to welcome new children into their families.

6. The right to predictive scheduling that allows restaurant workers the ability to engage in family and social obligations outside of work.

7. The right to a safe and dignified workplace, free from harassment and discrimination of any type.

8. The right to comprehensive and affordable healthcare, including a full range of reproductive and gender-affirming care.

9. The right to participate in governance by exercising their rights as citizens, workers, voters, activists, and organizers at all levels of government and at the workplace, free from pressure or coercion from employers; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Governor and the Director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.