Thursday, February 5, 2015

Senator Says Restaurant Employees Should Not Be Required to Wash Their Hands

Have you ever looked at an "Employees Must Wash Hands Before Returning to Work" sign in a bar or restaurant bathroom and thought, Ick, there has be a reminder? Me, too. But have you thought, Ick, this hinders our American freedom to be gross? Me neither. But the Washington Post has posted a video of freshman senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) saying that he thinks restaurants should not have to comply with such requirements.

His passion for this cause began when he was having a conversation about his distaste for regulatory reform while at a Starbucks in 2010. During a televised appearance at the Bipartisan Policy Center on Monday, Tillis recalled that his companion that day had asked whether employees at Starbucks should be required to wash their hands, obviously thinking she'd caught him with at least one scenario in which he would be pro regulation. But nope, in a majestic example of someone thinking they're bold and brave when they're simply being contrarian, Tillis doubled down.

"I don't have any problem with Starbucks if they choose to opt out of this policy as long as they post a sign that says we don't require our employees to wash their hands after leaving the restroom," he said, to raucous laughter at the Bipartisan Policy Center. "The market will take care of that. It's one example."

Now, obviously the Senator is not pro filthy hands. He implied both that he prefers that employees wash their hands and that a restaurant that didn't comply with such practices would lose business. But here's the thing: As In the Loop reporter Colby Itkowitz points out, Tillis's idea for having a no-hand-washing sign would be a requirement, a regulation, like those he's so against. (How has that not occurred to him in the last five years of telling this story?) In closing, if the solution is still a sign, let's have the sign be pro hand-washing.

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PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES


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