Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Orlando-based Darden Restaurants will give employees paid time off if they receive the COVID-19 vaccine

Posted By on Tue, Jan 26, 2021 at 5:25 PM

  • Photo via Tdorante10/Wikimedia Commons

Darden Restaurants — Orlando-based owners of Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen, Yardhouse and Bahama Breeze — announced on Tuesday that the company's 175,000 team members across the U.S. would be given paid time off to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Darden joins a list of corporations that will pay for employees' vaccinations, including Trader Joe's, Dollar General, and Aldi.

"The COVID-19 vaccine will be a critical tool in helping end this pandemic, which will allow us to welcome more guests and team members back into our restaurants," said Gene Lee, Chairman & CEO of Darden Restaurants, in a press statement.

Two hours of paid time off will be provided per dose of the vaccine. Assuming employees will receive the second dose, employees have the chance to earn four hours of total paid leave.

Darden will not require the vaccination as a condition of employment but the company will "strongly encourage" employees to receive the vaccine. Proof of vaccination is required in order to receive this PTO. 

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