Former Restaurant Employees Call Out Managers For Not Warning Staff, Customers Of COVID-19 Case

Thursday, June 25th 2020, 10:39 pm
By: Barry Mangold

Former servers of an Oklahoma City restaurant said their managers did not warn staff members of a COVID-19 exposure before the virus spread among coworkers.

News 9 is not releasing the name of the restaurant because they did not violate any health code or regulation, according to the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

Kyli Hammond said she told the restaurant’s general manager that she was possibly exposed to COVID-19 by a friend on June 11. She said her boss told her to work, and to wear a mask to be cautious.

“She really convinced me to, and I took her word for it,” Hammond said.

While waiting for a test result, Hammond worked and did not wear a mask for the whole shift, she said. A few days after the shift, Hammond’s test revealed she had the virus.

“I’m so sorry, man. I was reckless. I was for sure reckless. And I own up to that 100% and I’m so sorry,” Hammond said.

Jessica Pendley, also a server at the time, worked that same shift. A few days later Pendley said she felt sick and eventually tested positive for COVID-19.

Pendley and Hammond said that managers and staff did not alert the staff to Hammond’s exposure or the positive test result.

“Nothing was ever sent out to let everyone know that we had a positive case,” Pendley said. “There was definitely a miscommunication or lack of communication between management and staff.”

The OCCHD inspected the restaurant and found no violation. The department only passed along recommendations, which included that all staff members wear masks.

A citation can be issued against a restaurant that forces an employee to work while they are sick. That regulation does not apply when the employee is waiting for test results and is displaying no symptoms.

Pendley and Hammond said there is a chance customers were also exposed.

“I feel like a lot of people were exposed, and I, I feel terrible,” Hammond said.

The OCCHD recommends any business work with an employee after a possible exposure to limit contact with other people. If possible, they should work from home, a department spokesperson said.