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How to advise DS - problems while working at fast food


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DS just started his first job a little over 2 weeks ago in a fast food restaurant.  This company for some reason doesn't want the employees to wear gloves while washing dishes.  During the first few days of training, it became very apparent that DS is allergic/sensitive to some compound used in the cleaning process (not sure if it's the washing or sanitizing solutions) and his hands turned bright red and very painful.  They agreed he needed to wear gloves.  Most of the time he washes dishes for about 20 minutes and with the gloves it hasn't been a problem.  Saturday night he had a new manager.  He struggled to understand her and she wasn't super receptive when he asked questions.  After a while, he said it was quite clear she was pretty ticked with him. Less than 2 hours into his shift she sent him to wash dishes (normally he cooks food and he was the only cook there but she pulled him off and put someone who doesn't cook in his position).  First she yelled at him for wearing gloves but he explained why he needed them.  After a couple of hours of washing dishes, his hands were on fire because the gloves are short and the water would get inside while they dipped in these solutions.  He tried to ask her if he could do something else because he was hurting so bad.  She tossed a longer pair of gloves (that was super thin and tore within minutes) but refused to let him do anything else.  He ended up spending about 6 hours washing dishes (they don't have a machine so everything is done by hand before going into the sanitizer).  By the time he came home his hands were bright red and his fingers were clearly swollen.  He could barely move his fingers. I took pictures but since he doesn't get home till midnight, we would have had to go to the ER to get it looked at so we didn't go.  Sunday he didn't work.  His hands were pink today and starting to peel.  He talked to the 2 managers today (who he's had a really good relationship with) about it and asked what he should do.  They pretty much blew him off and said he'd be fine and would get over it.  One of the co-workers even pointed out that no, you don't "just get over" an allergic reaction.  But since he mostly grills for these 2 managers it's wasn't such a big deal.  So what do I tell him to do if he ends up with the difficult manager and she tries to make him wash dishes for hours on end again?  

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1 hour ago, cjzimmer1 said:

DS just started his first job a little over 2 weeks ago in a fast food restaurant.  This company for some reason doesn't want the employees to wear gloves while washing dishes.  During the first few days of training, it became very apparent that DS is allergic/sensitive to some compound used in the cleaning process (not sure if it's the washing or sanitizing solutions) and his hands turned bright red and very painful.  They agreed he needed to wear gloves.  Most of the time he washes dishes for about 20 minutes and with the gloves it hasn't been a problem.  Saturday night he had a new manager.  He struggled to understand her and she wasn't super receptive when he asked questions.  After a while, he said it was quite clear she was pretty ticked with him. Less than 2 hours into his shift she sent him to wash dishes (normally he cooks food and he was the only cook there but she pulled him off and put someone who doesn't cook in his position).  First she yelled at him for wearing gloves but he explained why he needed them.  After a couple of hours of washing dishes, his hands were on fire because the gloves are short and the water would get inside while they dipped in these solutions.  He tried to ask her if he could do something else because he was hurting so bad.  She tossed a longer pair of gloves (that was super thin and tore within minutes) but refused to let him do anything else.  He ended up spending about 6 hours washing dishes (they don't have a machine so everything is done by hand before going into the sanitizer).  By the time he came home his hands were bright red and his fingers were clearly swollen.  He could barely move his fingers. I took pictures but since he doesn't get home till midnight, we would have had to go to the ER to get it looked at so we didn't go.  Sunday he didn't work.  His hands were pink today and starting to peel.  He talked to the 2 managers today (who he's had a really good relationship with) about it and asked what he should do.  They pretty much blew him off and said he'd be fine and would get over it.  One of the co-workers even pointed out that no, you don't "just get over" an allergic reaction.  But since he mostly grills for these 2 managers it's wasn't such a big deal.  So what do I tell him to do if he ends up with the difficult manager and she tries to make him wash dishes for hours on end again?  

I know he shouldn’t have to but is finding a good fitting pair of gloves an option.  I can see why a snarky manager would just assume he was another kid not wanting to wash dishes even though that’s not the case.  If he can manage the glove side of things maybe he’d be ok?  

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How important is this job to DS?

I'm not American (I'm in Canada), but I think the workplace safety laws are similar.  He has the right to refuse unsafe work.  He also has the right to reasonable accommodation for disability/medical needs.  Here, there is also a formal mechanism for managing workplace injuries.   Dishwashing without gloves is clearly unsafe work for him.  Well-fitting, good quality gloves are a reasonable accommodation.  If his managers are not willing to make a reasonable accommodation, then he needs to take the issue up to the next level.  He may need formal medical documentation.  He many need to pursue formal workplace injury paperwork. 

I think I would frame this as an opportunity for him to educate himself on his rights and obligations as a worker, and practice asserting himself.

I do think it's important to stand firm.  So many places like this take advantage of their young low-wage workers, and it's not OK

 

 

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I agree with Wathe. Your son is not being unreasonable. Swollen, red hands that proceed to peel are a serious reaction (I’m not an expert on allergies, but I’m wondering if a reaction that strong could escalate in future incidents?).
He needs to start documenting. Document what has happened so far. Put it in a letter that goes to the manager with a Cc to the manager the next level up. Attach pictures. Have him be reasonable “non-threatening”, but also clear that he needs gloves, or he won’t be able to complete his work tasks. 
 

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Agreeing with the above. Also, make sure he double checks the concentrations and dilutions of the products. I worked at a fast food place where the ratios were written down incorrectly, and it took a while for it to be fixed by someone re-reading the product labels.

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I'd take him to a doctor, and ask for a letter stating he needs to be able to wear gloves. 

I'd also be prepping him to quit this job if they don't start accommodating what is an obvious need with a simple solution. This isn't a good work environment, and it's not going to get any better.

 

 

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I wouldn’t have much tolerance for the managers’ behavior. Fast food jobs are a dime a dozen, and they generally don’t have good managers. I assume he’s already gotten the best he could out of them. I would tell him to quit, and I would I have him send pictures and a strongly worded letter of explanation up the chain. 
 

Part of growing up is learning when jobs aren’t the right fit. This job and work environment aren’t the right for for OP’s ds. If ds needs the job, then  he should pound the streets and quit after he has landed another one. Assuming he doesn’t need it, though, I would quit today.

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4 minutes ago, 2squared said:

Fast food jobs are a dime a dozen

Yes, I think this might be a good time to learn that lesson.

The truth is that he is unable to fulfill the duties of that job.  The gloves help, but they don't prevent his reaction and continuing to do the job could make his hands more and more sensitive over time so it's possible that he gets to the point where ANY bit of that cleaning chemical causes a severe reaction right away.

So, I suggest having him find a new job and then turn in his two week notice.  

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Photos and a doctor's evaluation may get him better gloves. It may also get him the wrath of the managers who think he'll "get over it." 

So I'm with others - if the job is not absolutely needed, my kid would be giving 2 weeks notice today. 

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It sounds like he has already attempted to work it out.  If he likes the job, and if he needs the money badly, I might suggest he talk to the top manager and spell it out....'I like this job, but there is no way I can continue to wash dishes unless I have proper gloves.'  And then have him show the manager the photo you took of the last time he had to wash dishes with no gloves or poorly designed gloves. 

I would tell him that at least this is not a season of his life where he has a family to support or bills to pay.

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3 minutes ago, marbel said:

Photos and a doctor's evaluation may get him better gloves. It may also get him the wrath of the managers who think he'll "get over it." 

So I'm with others - if the job is not absolutely needed, my kid would be giving 2 weeks notice today. 

I agree.  Sometimes it just isn't worth it to assert your rights.  Managers have a way of making one's life heck if they want to.

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Allergic reactions can get worse and worse with each exposure.  So the next time it could happen quicker, or with a different reaction.  Past reactions can’t predict future reactions.
 

The managers are not going to work with him on this the way they should.

 

I’d advise him to look for another job, personally.  And when he gives his two week notice, it could be with a doc’s note about not washing dishes so some vindictive manager doesn’t create havoc with DS’s hands in that two weeks.

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I’m sorry. I was once fired from a kitchen job because I had a terrible reaction to cutting jalapeños. 

That kind of job and manager just isn’t worth the fight. There is no fixing bad managers and dumb policies.

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8 minutes ago, perkybunch said:

I wouldn't give two weeks notice, by the way.  Just quit.  It's a fast food job.  It's not going to affect his resume.

Ditto. He doesn't even need to ever list it as job history.  

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Thanks for all the replies.  I assume there are upper levels of management but I'm not sure if DS is even aware of who they are.  He works nights and says the one manager (one of the good ones) is 24 and appears to be one of the oldest ones working there.  Obviously judging age isn't always accurate but the gist is it's really just a lot of young people who stereotypically aren't really good at recognizing their own problems let own handling someone else's.  

Does DS "need" this job?  Not in a true financial sense, he lives at home and his costs are minimal.  We were planning to have him start paying rent in January but if he didn't have a job, we could forego it.  However, he's been out of school for over a year and it's taken one heap load of prodding, cajoling and threatening to get him to look for and land a job.  He would be thrilled to have a reason to quit since working is "interfering" with his game playing time.  At least this is what he says but other than the one night, he generally comes home pretty happy  and talkative(which is huge since normally he spends the majority of the day in his room barely speaking to anyone).  So for social/emotional reasons I do think he "needs" a job but obviously his physical health is just as important.

I'm totally fine with just going and buying him decent gloves since it's clear that what they have available won't cut if for his needs but I wasn't sure if that was appropriate because obviously they have health standards to deal with and wasn't sure if something being brought from the outside would violate code or anything.

I will have him try to find out if there is an upper manager he can talk to.

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6 minutes ago, cjzimmer1 said:

he generally comes home pretty happy  and talkative(which is huge since normally he spends the majority of the day in his room barely speaking to anyone).  So for social/emotional reasons I do think he "needs" a job but obviously his physical health is just as important.

I'm totally fine with just going and buying him decent gloves since it's clear that what they have available won't cut if for his needs but I wasn't sure if that was appropriate because obviously they have health standards to deal with and wasn't sure if something being brought from the outside would violate code or anything.

 

Based on this update, I would get him a good pair of gloves.  It is my suspicion that since the new manager already conceded on letting him wear gloves, she won't complain about him wearing different gloves.  At the first complaint, he needs to be bold and say, "In order for me to protect my hands from an allergic reaction, I need to wear these gloves, or you need to provide me with something that is high quality and durable and fits me properly."  If she won't let him, I would encourage him to file an official complaint and quit.  I'm saying this as someone who can't touch cleaning products with my bare hands without them getting irritated, swollen and chapped.  I can barely use hand sanitizer.  

I would also encourage him to ask his friends where they work and if they are happy there.  I agree with a PP that these jobs are a dime a dozen. He has gone out and got a job and is working hard--that is great!  But he also has rights to a safe work environment.  It may be that a lesson in leaving a bad job now will benefit him in the future if he is in an even worse situation and feels stuck.  

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At this point, I would have him treat it as a workplace injury because at this point you don't really know what the cause of his problem is. Have him ask for the MSDS (material safety data sheet) for all of the things he would come in contact with during a shift. Legally, they must be available to him. Then he needs to find out what the procedure is for workman's comp claims to make sure his MD visits are covered. Redness, swelling & peeling skin can be symptoms of allergies, but they can also be symptoms of chemical burns. He needs to be evaluated by an MD as soon as possible.

Have him sit down now and write down everything he remembers about the interactions re: dish washing and gloves - dates, times, who he talked to, what they said and did. If he doesn't remember exactly, have him write down approximate times & dates. If he remember exact words, have him put them in quotes. If other employees heard these interactions, he should write their names down as well. 

Part of him having a job is learning he shouldn't be required to get sick or injured by doing that job. In very general terms, good fast food and retail managers are rare. I have heard more stories of manipulative, demeaning behavior coming out of those fields towards young employees than any other. I do think he needs to find another job. Is there a temp agency near you that places people in offices? Perhaps he could do some entry level office work instead. If he stays in food service or moves over to retail, have him work very hard on interpersonal communication - how to communicate personal boundaries effectively and still be part of a team. A good manager will respond to good communication. A bad manager will respond to nothing. 

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55 minutes ago, cjzimmer1 said:

Thanks for all the replies.  I assume there are upper levels of management but I'm not sure if DS is even aware of who they are.  He works nights and says the one manager (one of the good ones) is 24 and appears to be one of the oldest ones working there.  Obviously judging age isn't always accurate but the gist is it's really just a lot of young people who stereotypically aren't really good at recognizing their own problems let own handling someone else's.  

Does DS "need" this job?  Not in a true financial sense, he lives at home and his costs are minimal.  We were planning to have him start paying rent in January but if he didn't have a job, we could forego it.  However, he's been out of school for over a year and it's taken one heap load of prodding, cajoling and threatening to get him to look for and land a job.  He would be thrilled to have a reason to quit since working is "interfering" with his game playing time.  At least this is what he says but other than the one night, he generally comes home pretty happy  and talkative(which is huge since normally he spends the majority of the day in his room barely speaking to anyone).  So for social/emotional reasons I do think he "needs" a job but obviously his physical health is just as important.

I'm totally fine with just going and buying him decent gloves since it's clear that what they have available won't cut if for his needs but I wasn't sure if that was appropriate because obviously they have health standards to deal with and wasn't sure if something being brought from the outside would violate code or anything.

I will have him try to find out if there is an upper manager he can talk to.

For the bolded reasons I would try to help him navigate a way to keep the job.  I know food service has weird rules but one would think a good pair of gloves for washing dishes would be allowed.  

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I think getting him a good pair of gloves is a decent solution.  Encouraging him to speak up if things are not working with his allergy (the inside of his nicer gloves get wet one day, etc).  Documenting the problem is good and it might be good to put the issue in writing to management with his solution and a photo.  

I totally get why you would want a young adult like this to just not quit if it wasn't necessary and it sounds like it's good for him socially and he's building some life skills.  You could encourage him to apply for other jobs while working this job if things don't settle down.  If he applies for other food service jobs this would b a good thing to mention when he gets an offer of employment.  He might even say, I can do food prep or sales, I cannot do dishes.  

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Just now, FuzzyCatz said:

I think getting him a good pair of gloves is a decent solution.  Encouraging him to speak up if things are not working with his allergy (the inside of his nicer gloves get wet one day, etc).  Documenting the problem is good and it might be good to put the issue in writing to management with his solution and a photo.  

I totally get why you would want a young adult like this to just not quit if it wasn't necessary and it sounds like it's good for him socially and he's building some life skills.  You could encourage him to apply for other jobs while working this job if things don't settle down.  If he applies for other food service jobs this would b a good thing to mention when he gets an offer of employment.  He might even say, I can do food prep or sales, I cannot do dishes.  

I think everyone needs a little time working in fast food.  It does build lots of life skills and it also instills an appreciation for the service industry in general.  

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If you feel that your child will be irreparably damaged by continuing with this job (ie if you judge a truly toxic work environment situation), then he has to quit.  But, by quitting, he is, in a sense, perpetuating the problem.  The same crummy manager will continue to mistreat the next poor kid that gets hired.  I get the sense from your post that this is a bad manager issue, not a truly un-fixable toxic work environment issue, but you know your kid best.

I think that it is a fabulous, relatively low-stakes opportunity for you DS to learn how to handle a workplace problem.  To practice exercising his right to refuse unsafe work, to assert his right to reasonable accommodation, to explore his rights and responsibilities as an employee, and to learn the process for resolving both workplace safety issues and people issues. And he gets to pay it forward by helping to foster a better work environment/safety culture for the next kid who gets hired.

 

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1 hour ago, perkybunch said:

I wouldn't give two weeks notice, by the way.  Just quit.  It's a fast food job.  It's not going to affect his resume.

That's true. But, if he ever wanted to work for the same company (not necessarily the same store), he would be in their records as having worked there, and quitting without giving notice could affect future employment. It depends on how the employment/ownership is set up, I guess.

I get the desire to help him keep the job. If bringing gloves from home will work, then that would be great. I would also get a doctor's opinion and note that he cannot wash dishes without whatever protection is determined to be medically necessary.  But I would not mess around - if the gloves don't work, or if they hassle him, help him get out of there. You don't want to risk long-term damage to his hands/nails. 

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13 minutes ago, marbel said:

That's true. But, if he ever wanted to work for the same company (not necessarily the same store), he would be in their records as having worked there, and quitting without giving notice could affect future employment. It depends on how the employment/ownership is set up, I guess.

I get the desire to help him keep the job. If bringing gloves from home will work, then that would be great. I would also get a doctor's opinion and note that he cannot wash dishes without whatever protection is determined to be medically necessary.  But I would not mess around - if the gloves don't work, or if they hassle him, help him get out of there. You don't want to risk long-term damage to his hands/nails. 

That is a good point, but honestly it is really hard to do something that prevents future hire in the fast food world.  They have such a turnover it is ridiculous.  Panda Express where my dss worked has a sign up right now needing workers.  They start at $12 in this low cost of living area.

Dss19 saw people rehired that had walked out mid shift.

 

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9 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

That is a good point, but honestly it is really hard to do something that prevents future hire in the fast food world.  They have such a turnover it is ridiculous.  Panda Express where my dss worked has a sign up right now needing workers.  They start at $12 in this low cost of living area.

Dss19 saw people rehired that had walked out mid shift.

 

Ah... I had no idea. No fast-food experience here. One kid worked in food service, but at a locally-owned cafe. The other learned customer service working in a big-box store.  So my knowledge in that area is lacking.  I had no idea people could walk out and be re-hired! 

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Does he enjoy the job and are you worried he won't have the motivation to find a new one?  Then I'd work with him on at least acting assertively because you want him to be able to take care of himself and not allow people to walk all over him in the future.   So, I'd get a long pair of gloves that would solve the problem.  He can bring them to work and just wear them.  (I wouldn't even ask.)  If they make a stink about it, then he can explain he either will 1) Wear the gloves and do dishes  2) Continue to work there but not do dishes  3) Need to quit.   He should save the receipt and possibly even request that they reimburse him, or you can add it to medical expenses on your tax returns.

If that doesn't work, I'd advise him quit and find something else.  Managers are often just people who have worked at a place long enough that they move up, not necessarily because  they're of managerial quality.   If he does quit, I'd definitely encourage your ds to write a letter to higher-ups explaining what happened, so they're aware.

 

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Fast food is one of the few jobs that will reliably hire felons.  He can quit with no notice and find another job, although he might want to just find another field.

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8 hours ago, perkybunch said:

I wouldn't give two weeks notice, by the way.  Just quit.  It's a fast food job.  It's not going to affect his resume.

I agree. I would have him quit immediately. 

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Even with your concerns about his needing a job rather than gaming all the time, he needs to quit his job.

Hands are precious. The reaction you described is not a mild one. And it is a terrible lesson to say he should accept that risk.

He got this job. He can get another. Grocery stores are almost always hiring. There are other food places. There are retail stores. And Christmas season will open new jobs as well starting in just a few weeks. There are options.

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Thanks again to all who have commented.  I've never worked in fast food nor ever held a job that I had any degree of contention so I wasn't sure how to approach it.  I was thinking that it would fall under worker's comp but then worried perhaps I was being too aggressive in my response.  Other than the one night with the one manager he has never once felt anything remotely bordering hostility.  In fact the 2 managers he normally works with have praised him repeatedly and tell him what a good job he is doing and that if he keeps it up he can have a manager position if he wants (which is humorous in context with this next part).  I definitely don't want him to sacrifice his health but just getting another job isn't going to be easy.  DS does NOT like people.  He actually really likes the act of washing dishes at this job because he is in the back room all by himself and doesn't have to interact with anyone.  The grill is good because there is at most 1-2 other people in the area.  Retail, front line, or anything else that involves interacting with people all day will be a complete fail at this stage. He actually gets his most interaction during closing/cleaning when there are 4 of them working together to shut down for the day.  DS also doesn't want to work somewhere where he doesn't like the food which immediately would take him down to 3 fast food choices only and the other 2 are much busier and would definitely require more people interaction.  

All that to say, it's in his best interest to hold onto this job if we can find a way to make it work.  It's more people skill than he gets at home and I expect in time he will grow and learn how to interact better (oldest DS was the same way with his first out of the home job and over the course of a couple years really blossomed, I expect this one will too if we can find the right fit).  He is fine bringing his own gloves.  So I ordered a pack from Amazon. Yes work "should" pay for them but frankly for the minimal cost, I'd rather just pay it than put DS through the stress of trying to get them to pay for it.  He's working now but the gloves will be here in time for his next shift. I did ask him to type up a summary of what happened but I don't know it actually happened.  He just wants to move past it but I keep stressing how important it is that he doesn't allow them to do this to him again.  He's had 2 flairs already (once during training when the problem was discovered, and now this instance) and I told him that he the right to refuse to do that much dish washing again knowing the results.  But he will try the gloves, if they solve the problem (and the managers don't give him grief about them), problem solved and if not he has a better idea of what is an acceptable response on his part. But unless he gets the one bad manager (I think he says she normally works days so hopefully their paths don't cross too often), I think the situation will be fine.  

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I am completely astounded that any employer would allow someone to wash dishes without wearing gloves let alone actively prevent it.  Gloves are an essential part of the safety equipment required for the job.  Do they also refuse to let them wear shoes?

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11 hours ago, kiwik said:

I am completely astounded that any employer would allow someone to wash dishes without wearing gloves let alone actively prevent it.  Gloves are an essential part of the safety equipment required for the job.  Do they also refuse to let them wear shoes?

Yeah when he told me they weren't allowed to wear gloves  after watching the training videos, I was like "Are you sure?  Did you misunderstand?" but then when he went for in person training that fact was again emphasized again.

A new guy just started and DS was put in charge of showing him around.  DS was like I have to tell you, "Don't wear gloves when washing dishes" and the new guy was like yes I know everyone tells me that.  So yeah it's really a thing but it makes no sense to me.  Anyways, there's been no problems this week.  His normal managers have been on duty.  Saturday night is the only night we are worried about since that was when the other lady was on.  The gloves I ordered from Amazon have gotten lost in shipping so I may run out and see if I can find anything locally even though I've been trying very hard to avoid going into stores.  I just want to make sure he's prepared for Saturday in case there are issues.

For shoes they have to have specialized no slip shoes.  So at least they aren't completely ignoring safety.   

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So the no gloves situation may well be a temporary thing, and it may be because there is literally a global glove shortage due to covid.  From March through August every position at my restaurant was required to wear gloves.  We went through TONS of disposable gloves. Mid-August we started struggling to get gloves in and by the end of the month we were officially told that it was of vital importance to save the gloves for food preparation and we were no longer to wear gloves for any other position unless we were directly handling food. Instead we have protocols involving insane amounts of handwashing and sanitizer.

All that to say, if you can find good gloves for your DS and he brings them in, I'm sure he'll be allowed to use them to wash dishes IF this is part of some temporary covid fallout situation.  If not, then I don't know what to say.  It's strange in any other scenario. 

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15 hours ago, Lady Marmalade said:

 All that to say, if you can find good gloves for your DS and he brings them in, I'm sure he'll be allowed to use them to wash dishes IF this is part of some temporary covid fallout situation.  

It doesn't sound like it is, because OP said the no gloves bit was in the training videos. 

Because they've okayed wearing gloves, I think he'll be fine bringing in his own, because I doubt they will notice. OP, maybe tell your son not to ask or mention the new gloves, simply bring them and wear them. 

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Sounds like Moe's  - my daughter worked there and had the same problem and they didn't provide gloves.  Finally I provided gloves (we didn't ask, we just bought them and she used them), but water got inside them because they were too short for their sink.  Her manager was more receptive though.  I finally got industrial, longer gloves.  The other manager's don't have much power over another one.  Try going up above the manager's head, and then higher and higher, even to the owner if you need to (at my DD's job, the owner was there working occasionally and very receptive to talking to employees).  

Edited by Reefgazer
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3 hours ago, Reefgazer said:

Sounds like Moe's  - my daughter worked there and had the same problem and they didn't provide gloves.  Finally I provided gloves (we didn't ask, we just bought them and she used them), but water got inside them because they were too short for their sink.  Her manager was more receptive though.  I finally got industrial, longer gloves.  The other manager's don't have much power over another one.  Try going up above the manager's head, and then higher and higher, even to the owner if you need to (at my DD's job, the owner was there working occasionally and very receptive to talking to employees).  

Not Moe's but similar.  The grumpy manager was again there for Saturday so we are assuming that she will be there every Saturday.  When he got there he went to the grill because that was his assigned position.  However, almost immediately she told him to fill in the front line while she did something in the back.  He didn't say anything when she came back for fear she might send him to dishes again (since there was still another person on the grill) and she apparently didn't notice.  He spent almost the entire night on front line.  Not his favorite position but better than scalding his hands since we weren't able to get the gloves (they got lost in shipping and I haven't been able to find long ones locally) yet. He was still in a good mood when he came home so I think it was/will be okay.  One of the managers he showed his hands to the first time IS the top manager of the store.  I have no idea if this store is locally owned or a franchise so my guess is if he wants to go higher he might have to try corporate.  Anyways its all been going fine since and now he knows it's ok to stand up for himself if something like that happens again.

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