Nearly half of California restaurant workers reluctant to return to work: unemployment benefits outpay more than wages

BEIJING, July 27 (Xinhua) — The owner of a California restaurant said nearly half of its employees did not want to return to work after his restaurant was allowed to reopen last week, with some claiming they earn more unemployment benefits than they earn at work,media reported. The restaurant is located in Ventura County, where the county health department announced last week that it would allow local restaurants to resume service.

Nearly half of California restaurant workers reluctant to return to work: unemployment benefits outpay more than wages

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But only about half of the restaurant’s 50 employees agreed to return to work, despite assurances from bosses that social distance smiles and limits on customer numbers would be implemented.

“Some people seem to have legitimate reasons, like, ‘I don’t want to expose myself, I have parents, they’re older at home,'” restaurant owner Giorgio Pierangeli told local media. I don’t want to come back and put them in danger. “

But some employees say they make more money when they lose their jobs than they do at work.

Pierangeli says his restaurateurs earn $150 to $200 per shift, including tips.

But unemployed workers in California receive $450 a week from the state government and $600 from the federal disaster relief program.

However, under the rules, employees cannot refuse to return to work for fear of contracting the virus, or they will not be able to continue receiving unemployment benefits.

In addition, the $600-a-week relief provided by the Federal Government will end on 31 July. The Washington Post recently quoted sources as saying that U.S. President Donald Trump privately opposed the extension because of concerns that it would reduce workers’ incentive to return to work.