Sick days are becoming a hot topic. During the COVID-19 outbreak, more people are required to stay home if they are not feeling well. The situation has sparked a discussion about Tim Hortons sick policy, with some calling for a boycott.
An article from PressProgress examined how some franchised locations handle employees who need to stay home.
They reported that a number of franchises require their workers to produce a doctor's note for any unpaid sick leave.
"Sick days, at Tim Hortons at least, are unpaid," a former employee told PressProgress, "Not only are you sick, you’re also losing a day’s wage, so employees asking for a sick day have considered it at length."
With the spread of COVID-19 becoming more rapid, the discussion of allowing paid sick leave has become much more prominent. Major precautions have been taken, including school closures and the cancellation of professional sporting events.
However, in an email statement to Narcity, Tim Hortons claimed this wasn't accurate.
"We take our responsibility to Tim Hortons guests and team members across Canada very seriously. It is important for all of us to follow the advice of our public health officials especially around staying home if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19," they said.
They continued, "we have been working with our 1,500 restaurant owners in Canada to follow the advice of their local public health authorities in all cases — including not requiring a doctor’s note when an employee reports in sick." *
However, the Press Progress article has since gone viral, and now has Canadians calling for a boycott of the coffee chain on Twitter using the hashtag, #BoycottTimHortons.
#boycottTimHortons .@TimHortons Are you really allowing franchises to require that sick employees provide a doctors… https://t.co/AQBov4iRBQ— Harshil Dixit (@Harshil Dixit)1584166033.0
Tim Horton's irresponsible sick note policy rips money from healthcare system. Cost to taxpayers: doctor visit = mo… https://t.co/hSf6LdM3hL— Terence Kernaghan NDP (@Terence Kernaghan NDP)1584186149.0
Wondered why #boycottTimHortons trending. If you're in food service & doing *anything* to discourage sick employees… https://t.co/FtEEpsRjvW— Kelley Armstrong (@Kelley Armstrong)1584189961.0
He makes $18 million a year, but can’t give his workers paid sick leave or unpaid sick leave without a doctors note… https://t.co/ns41vNa4gv— Shelby (@Shelby)1584157581.0
Wow, @TimHortons do you know how irresponsible this is? The risk you're putting your staff in, the burden you're pu… https://t.co/wXz8JSoHiz— Bad Mommy (@Bad Mommy)1584153127.0
#boycottTimHortons Goodbye. Your disregard for health, safety and humanity is revolting. https://t.co/j1g2ioCrTm— Rose #COVIDisAirborne #COVIDschools (@Rose #COVIDisAirborne #COVIDschools)1584154490.0
You have some answering to do, @TimHortons. Either way, you haven’t been the pride of Canada since Burger King bou… https://t.co/zkg8PuK53B— Hits 93 Toronto (@Hits 93 Toronto)1584155740.0
#boycottTimHortons. First the @TimHortons in Waterloo kicks out a girl for swearing when a man was sexually assault… https://t.co/5bq2ztUrOU— Karen Schieck🇨🇦 (@Karen Schieck🇨🇦)1584154433.0
I have friends who have kids that work @TimHortons I would never want to negatively impact their employment by supp… https://t.co/jYGH188CL3— adrianhobbs44 (@adrianhobbs44)1584155658.0
Bye forever. Care for the health of your staff should be on your main menu. Now each time I see your logo I think o… https://t.co/Xb1vTOYehl— Tanya Kan 🔜 LudoNarraCon (@Tanya Kan 🔜 LudoNarraCon)1584165129.0
"#boycottTimHortons .@TimHortons Are you really allowing franchises to require that sick employees provide a doctors note if they take an unpaid sick day? That’s a surefire way to help spread Coved-19, burden the system unnecessarily and and lose customers in one fell swoop. #bs" wrote @rhjdm.
"Tim Horton's irresponsible sick note policy rips money from healthcare system. Cost to taxpayers: doctor visit = more than $120 Sick note = $20-50. Workers unpaid for time at doctor. @TimHortons, REFUND that $ to #HealthCare #BoycottTimHortons #ONpoli" wrote Ontario NDP MPP Terence Kernaghan.
So @TimHortons wants my doctor and yours doing paperwork during the #Covid19 pandemic because they don’t trust thei… https://t.co/pFJADP5fCQ— Gerald Butts (@Gerald Butts)1584191580.0
Even Gerald Butts got in on the conversation, writing "So @TimHortons wants my doctor and yours doing paperwork during the #Covid19 pandemic because they don’t trust their employees? Good grief."
Schools are shut down, flights are cancelled, the PM's in self-isolation and Tim Hortons is out here asking sick wo… https://t.co/voSt1B6MxV— Kian Malekanian (@Kian Malekanian)1584163290.0
COVID-19 continues to spread in Canada. As of 2:30 PM on March 13, the government reports 176 confirmed cases across the country. Prime Minister Trudeau has even gone into isolation after his wife, Sophie, was confirmed as having the virus.
*Editor's note: This story has been updated.