The human right for McDonald's employees not to wash their hands
Don't eat at McDonald's on South West Marine Drive in Vancouver.
Listen. I love McDonald's, both for their food and for what they stand for philosophically. I thought that Super Size Me was a piece of anti-capitalist, anti-beef propaganda.
But when you're in Vancouver, skip the McDonald's on Marine Drive.
That's because the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal has ruled that one of the employees there has a human right not to wash her hands when working in their kitchen.
Beena Datt claimed that she developed a "skin condition" that meant she couldn't wash her hands in compliance with McDonald's hygiene policy. That's the same hygiene policy that makes McDonald's like an embassy to Canadians travelling overseas -- when you're in a Third World country, and tired of eating in hygiene-challenged local restaurants, you can count on a western standard of cleanliness and quality at McDonald's.
In B.C., McDonald's hygiene policy isn't just a matter of corporate pride. It's a matter of the law -- both the Health Act and the Food Premises Regulations. And then there's B.C.'s Food Protection Guidelines issued by the B.C. Centre for Disease Control. McDonald's subscribes to all of them. Hell, they probably helped write them.
McDonald's is fanatical about hand-washing, to their credit. They have hand-washing rules. Not just the obvious "wash your hands after the bathroom" rules. But other rules, like wash your hands after shaking someone's hand. Wash your hands after retrieving food from the freezer. Wash your hands after touching a door handle. They even have a chime that goes off every hour. It's a "we're all going to wash our hands now" chime. Seriously -- see paragraph 23 of the ruling.