Jimmy John’s employees seek — and obtain — better safety measures in Salt Lake City store

Employees at the Jimmy John’s restaurant on 1300 East near 3300 South said earlier this week that the store lacks adequate protective measures, and they don’t feel safe working during the coronavirus.

“We’re just asking for basic safety,” employee John Algee said. “That’s not unreasonable.”

The 19-year-old said he has heart problems and asthma and worries about becoming infected with COVID-19. He’s not sure what will happen to him if he is unable to work. “I already live paycheck to paycheck.”

The fast-food employees launched an online petition, with the help of a community organizer, in hopes of getting the attention of D&D Management Enterprises, which according to its website, operates dozens of Jimmy John’s outlets in Utah, including the store on 1300 East.

Alger and another employee, Chancellor Martin, met with D&D on Wednesday morning and asked the company to make these safety changes:

• Keep customers from coming into the lobby and ordering until the state sees a decline in newly confirmed cases.

• Install plexiglass barriers that are tall enough to block particulates at face level.

• Improve floor markings so customers maintain adequate social distancing.

• Provide up to a month of paid sick leave for workers who show symptoms of the COVID-19.

They won most of their battle, said Martin, as the company agreed to all requests, save for the paid sick leave.

“The safety of our employees has been and will continue to be a top priority for us,” Daniel Clark, D&D co-owner, said in a written statement. “We met with the employees raising the concerns this morning and will continue to work on reasonable solutions in the future.”