Restaurants embrace paid time off to get employees vaccinated P

Providing paid time for employees to get a COVID vaccine is emerging as the solution of choice for restaurants contending with the issue of how to get their staffs safeguarded without plunging into the murky area of requiring the shots.

That approach is being adopted by operators big and small—from McDonald’s corporate operations to Freebirds World Burritos, Shake Shack, Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants, and the multi-concept independent group Knead Hospitality in Washington, D.C.

All but Shake Shack have announced within the last 10 days that they’ll provide four hours of paid time office (PTO)—two for each shot required with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines—at the employee’s current hourly rate of pay. Shake Shack is providing six hours of PTO.  Salaried employees are typically given a day’s worth of time with no cut in pay to get their shots.

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