The suit alleges that the restaurant failed in its responsibility to deliver safe food. The worker has been the only known case of illness, but at least 2,730 people have gotten immunizations over the past week at the urging of county health officials.
The allegations include that Olive Garden was negligent by failing to require its employees to be vaccinated against hepatitis A and by failing to prevent an infected employee from working.
State health regulations require employers to bar sick employees from working in restaurants, said Tony Ferguson, food and lodging supervisor with the Cumberland County Health Department. That means if managers see someone coughing and sneezing, they should send the employee home, he said.
In Seattle, the city council is considering a new law requiring all businesses to provide paid sick leave to their employees. One of the rationales for the proposal is that food-service and grocery workers shouldn't come in sick to work, where they could infect members of the public.