1,000 signatures reached
To: Caribou Coffee CEO John Butcher, JAB Holding Company and MN Governor Tim Walz
Caribou Coffee Corporation Provide Emergency Paid Leave
We are demanding that in response to the recommendations of health organizations and the spread of COVID-19, the coronavirus, our coffee shops be temporarily closed and workers be given emergency paid leave until the threat of this virus is contained.
We the employees of Caribou Coffee believe that it is irresponsible to our customers and to your employees to require workers, especially imuno-compromised and vulnerable workers, to report to work as the spread of the coronavirus continues.
We are calling on the Caribou Coffee Company and JAB Holding Company to support the workers that make these businesses run by providing at least 15 days of emergency paid leave and closing down locations so as not to expose workers and customers to further risk of contracting the virus.
Furthermore, Minnesota’s Governor Walz has declared a State of Emergency due to COVID-19 for the safety and well being of all Minnesotans. As this crisis grows, more and more workers are being asked to work from home, or have to miss work for reasons related to the pandemic. Poor communities of color and other marginalized communities are the driving force in our state’s economy, yet they will face the brunt of this crisis, as most of low-wage jobs cannot be done remotely and poverty wages do not allow for families to establish emergency savings. We are concerned about the health and well being of our communities during this time.
In order to ensure that our communities can pay for food, medical needs and other basic needs, we are calling on the State of Minnesota to enact a policy for 15 days of Emergency Paid Time Off paid for by employers and provided to all workers, no exceptions, who have to miss work (including retroactively covering days that have already been lost) due to the coronavirus pandemic for any reason, be it for a temporary job shut down, personally getting sick, caring for kids when schools shut down, or any other related reason. The 15 days should be in addition to whatever benefits workers already have in their workplace. To avoid impacting small businesses, we are calling on the state to implement a separate tax on the largest businesses in the state including Amazon, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Target, Ecolab and others, and small to medium sized businesses can apply for a tax credit equal to 100% of the paid sick leave benefit they have paid out. If workers have to miss more than 15 days for any reason related to the crisis, they should be able to access unemployment insurance benefits immediately without counting the benefit against the employer's experience rating, and with a moratorium on employer challenges during the pandemic.
Finally, we remind you that it is against federal law to retaliate against an employee for making a discrimination or wage-related complaint. This includes discharging, penalizing, disciplining or in any other manner discriminating against workers for this activity. 29 U.S.C. § 215(a)(3).
Why is this important?
We as workers, especially immuno-compromised and vulnerable workers, are being forced to risk potential exposure to and spread of the Coronavirus while CEO John Butcher can continue working remotely.
We should not have to choose between paying for essential food, rent and medical supplies and compromising social solidarity (a.k.a. social distancing) or exposing ourselves to further risks.