I'm sticking up for McDonald's? It it April 1st again?


Ah, the neutralising effect of quotation marks…

Oh, you'll like this one. You'll be scratching your head after this.

Does your job involve any potential risks? If not to you, then maybe to customers or the general public?

Like a bus driver. One wrong turn, or distracted moment, and fifty people could be killed. Maybe an airline pilot? Even better. Hundreds of people.

What about a restaurant worker? Not so risky, but they're in contact with food which could, if handled incorrectly, potentially poison their customers. It's a good job they all have to wash their hands regularly. It the law, after all. Or is it…?

Chalking one up for the nanny state (one that puts individuals before society), the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has decided that if you have a skin problem, you don't have to wash your hands–even if you are serving food in McDonald's. Read the case here.

I don't really understand this one. A worker claims she can't wash her hands in accordance with McDonald's corporate policy, or even with government hygiene requirements. So, she gets fired. Simple enough: Not washing your hands? Then don't touch the food.

One human rights court case later, and McDonald's suddenly owes this lady over $50,000 in damages.

Now, ordinarily I'd say 'Yeah, stick it to the Man,' but not this time. How can someone's human rights outrank public safety? How is this in any way considered discrimination (which is what the BCHRT called it)? It's not like they didn't allow old/black/gay people to work there.

Rights are super, yay, but I don't think I'd go looking for a job as a policeman if I was a quadriplegic–and then sue when I was turned down. Surely an employer is legally allowed some leeway in defining the skills required for a job. They're not looking for the impossible.

But, I guess special super-human powers like 'an ability to wash own hands' would come in pretty handy in the food industry.

The tribunal's decision is now going to apply to all restaurants in the district. Those ubiquitous 'Employees Must Wash Hands' signs will all be coming down soon.

It sorta makes a mockery of the recent HSE campaign (as if it weren't enough of a joke already).

So if you're visiting B.C., maybe you'd consider bringing your own food?


P.S. Here's a video I found while looking for that HSE ad encouraging people to ask nurses to wash their hands. It's a 'manualist' playing Bohemian Rhapsody in handfarts.