Fair Labor Initiative Focuses on B'ton Restaurants

Byron Bangert, Bloomington Human Rights Commission chair:

Have you seen this decal at the restaurants you patronize?

Many H-T readers obviously care about the food they eat, including where it comes from and how it’s grown or raised.  The Bloomington Human Rights Commission hopes you also care about how your food is locally prepared and served, and especially whether the cooks, waiters, and clean-up staff have safe working conditions, are treated  in accordance with fair labor standards and practices, and receive the full compensation to which they are legally entitled.

That’s why we launched our Fair Labor Initiative (FLI) last December, and why we hope you will make your dining choices on the basis of whether the local establishment affirms its compliance with fair labor practices.

By latest count, some 40 local eating establishments have signed on, so there are lots of choices from which to select.  But there are scores of other eating establishments that have yet to make this affirmation.  The BHRC hopes most of them will eventually sign on, but we need public support for our Fair Labor Initiative to make a difference.

Here’s what we’d like you to know:

  •            We have twice notified by mail almost all eating establishments in Bloomington, and personally visited several dozen.
  •            We are not asking any establishment to affirm anything that is not already required by law.
  •            We believe law-abiding restauranteurs can only benefit from this initiative.
  •            We are asking you, dear readers, to start voting with your feet and your wallets by patronizing those eating establishments that have joined in this effort.
  •            The list of all participating establishments is available on the City’s website at:  https://bloomington.in.gov/departments/legal/fair-labor
  •            You can contact the BHRC office for more information at 812-349-3429.
  •            All establishments that affirm their compliance are provided the decal shown above to display on the door or in the window.

If your favorite eatery is not yet a participant in FLI, please speak to the owner or manager and let him or her know that you support this effort because it matters to you that the staff are treated fairly.

Help us inspire as many eating establishments as possible to do the right thing, and let the public know they are doing the right thing, by joining in the Fair Labor Initiative.  A lot of restaurant workers will be grateful!