This should be a wake-up call for a country that has spent decades mistreating, neglecting and radically underpaying its workers.
The solutions are not that complicated. A $15 federal minimum wage is the baseline; really, we should triple it, and do away with the tipped minimum wage entirely. High-quality universal childcare should be at the top of the government’s To Do list to ensure that no parent has to choose between work and their children’s care. Next on that list should be paid sick and vacation days, paid parental leave and laws mandating predictable work schedules. And workplaces simply need to be more humane, with employers and bosses treating their employees like trustworthy adults, not potentially naughty children in need of constant control and hyper-surveillance.
This is a difficult time for many businesses, especially the restaurants, bars, shops and small businesses that were hit hard by Covid shutdowns and regulations. I imagine most Americans would say that it’s these businesses that keep our communities vibrant, and we desperately want them to recover. They absolutely deserve support from both customers and the government in getting back on their feet.
But so do their employees who are, after all, the people who make our most beloved places so great.