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USA TODAY

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Jan 27, 2021
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Employees from Olive Garden, Longhorn and other restaurants will receive paid sick leave to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Darden Restaurants, the parent company of several chain restaurants, announced it will offer workers up to four hours of paid sick leave to receive a vaccine. Two of those hours should be used for the first dose, and the remaining two for the second dose.

"While we will not require hourly team members to be vaccinated as a condition of employment, we strongly encourage you consider getting vaccinated," read a letter by Gene Lee, Darden Restaurants CEO.

Restaurant managers will have "scheduling flexibility" for their own vaccinations.

The pay rate for the paid sick leave will be based on the employee's total earnings, including tips, over the most recent 13 weeks, The pay rate has a maximum of $20.


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Workers who haven't worked for the past 13 weeks will have a pay rate based on their primary job or minimum wage. Employees will also have to provide proof of their vaccination to their managers to receive their pay.

The effort comes after Aldi, Trader Joe's, Instacart and Dollar General also announced it would pay workers to get vaccinated, with Instacart disbursing its stipend as early as Feb.1.

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