Chipotle CEO: If employees call in sick, a nurse might make sure they're not faking it

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Depending on exactly what the policy is, this seems either banal or like a ridiculously cost-inefficient exercise in policing the labor more or less for its own sake.

If someone is using a lot of sick time it’s not uncommon for there to be additional inquiry(of varying levels of benevolence; from ‘is X OK?/in need of modified duties?’ to ‘HR, prepare me a legally sound excuse to cull the unfit…’); but for single instances it’s not really worth anyone’s time: in-person checks are relatively expensive(and not necessarily useful against the zillion-odd “yeah, it’s a transient stomach bug, likely viral, nothing we can really do; rest up and don’t get dehydrated” cases); and an environment of distrust over even small matters tends to be corrosive generally; it’s hard to work usefully with people who you suspect of trying to scam you at every unmonitored moment for any roles above the very most regimented and menial.

I can see a stronger case for verifying health prior to return, running labs for a battery of common foodborne pathogens is likely increasingly cheap; but that, again, is something that is less necessary if you don’t harass people about taking sick time, people generally don’t voluntarily show up sick and infectious if they have the option, they’d rather be resting.

If the actual policy involves getting a doctor’s note or checking on the status of people who have blown through the average number of sick days that would be less surprising, that’s common even among workers further up the totem pole; but harassing people about sick days you want them to take because food contamination is really bad for business seems profoundly stupid.


You harass people over sick time and sick people will come to work.


If I ran a restaurant, I wouldn’t want a hungover worker coming in either. Less attention to detail etc.

Sounds like a case of CEO thinking that they understand company policy, when if fact they have no clue.

This was the part that struck me as weird - how do they do that? Is there a quarantine area? Do you fill out a questionnaire? Is it administered by a manager? If you have E. coli, salmonella or other wonderful bacteria on your skin, how do they test? Do they just look at food-safety related issues, or your mental health as well?


And wellness is one of those red flag words. Do they mean real medical, or do they send people home for a bad case of angst?


When I read this story last week, my understanding was that any employees who were sick needed to see a nurse to ensure they wouldn’t contaminate the food (which is obviously what lead to their issues previously). There was nothing about the piece from CNN last week that they were doing it to determine if they would pay out for a day off or not.


No. “wellness” is the safe word in corporate culture. “Sick” is the red flag word.

Isn’t this a problem for the insurance?
In Italy we have the so called " Visita medica di controllo domiciliare" where the public health insurance will send you home a forensic doctor to check on you.

You need a certification from an MD to call in sick, either your GP or one from A&E, and is automatically sent to the public health insurance, and going to work if the certification was done is actually a misdemeanour: because sick days are paid in part or in full by the public insurance, and someone called sick to get double pay.


I am extremely skeptical that something like paid sick days exist for hourly employees that aren’t at least lower level management. Restaurants like these offer some of the most low paying and exploitative employment that you can get. It is only recent changes in the laws that has forced them to provide any sort of benefits at all. If this exists(which I doubt), it would be very limited, maybe you could do this once or twice in a years time period without accruing an attendance penalty. It is wildly unlikely that any other sort of paid days off would exist. What they would have is an “attendance policy”, that would provide limits to how many unexcused absences would be tolerated over a given time period, and if you had an illness that would cause you to miss work over what is accepted, you would need proof. Skipping paying for a nurse and just paying everyone that worked there more would probably help with attendance. shrugs


Based on my casual reading of the Malicious Compliance subreddit, I remain unconvinced that this won’t fall apart at many locations due to labor-cost-pressure from above driving local managers to make terrible decisions.

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If they’ve been eating the food, then they’re really sick.

Then again, if I worked at Chipotle in this toxic corporate environment, I would have a hangover damn near every day as well.


I have a better idea, healthcare for all.


I’ve been studiously logging my water intake, food intake, weight, blood pressure, exercise regimen, and vast quantities of alcohol intake by regularly pressing buttons on a keyboard. It seems that b/c of this, I can more or less be assured that I’ll never have to call in sick again. The data proves it. I’m what you might call fit as a fiddle.

Perfectly in keeping with the angry techno gauntlet of food that gruel line has become. If I never have to shout past a sneeze guard over throwaway Swiss beats to be heard repeating “Pinto” for the third time it’ll be too soon.

Which is just jim dandy for a business that serves food…


I can just see the nurse calls:

“So… describe your symptoms please”
“I ate lunch at work with my discount.”
“Ah… So bloody diarrhea then?”


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