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Statement from the College Regarding Dining Hall Workers

5/7/20 Statement Update:

The college dining halls are central to the College community, and we understand the important role the staff in these facilities play. There is no standard model for college and university dining, and the model at Emerson is different from that used at many other Boston campuses. Please understand, the College does not employ these workers directly, rather they are employed by Bon Appetit, which is contracted to provide dining services for the College.

The College is no longer providing full dining services for the campus and has, in fact, refunded or credited unused board charges to all students who left campus as part of the move to online learning.

The College cares deeply about the health, safety, and welfare of all employees and contract workers on our campus. With regard to the Bon Appetit workers, here are the facts:

  • Bon Appetit employees who worked at the Emerson Dining Center during the spring semester continue to receive their full health and welfare benefits through Bon Appetit, in accordance with their individual choices and elections.
  • Bon Appetit employees will receive their paid sick and vacation time, as is normally calculated and paid.
  • There are about a dozen current Bon Appetit workers in the Dining Center. None of the other Bon Appetit employees have asked for, or been denied, the opportunity to work in the Dining Center. 
  • All of the Bon Appetit employees who worked at the Emerson Dining Center during the spring semester are eligible to collect higher amounts than their regular weekly pay due to the CARES Act funding. In addition, they are all eligible to receive the federal stimulus payments in accordance with those program rules and limitations.
  • The Bon Appetit workers are not College employees and, therefore, the College does not pay their salaries, nor provide their benefits directly.

We will continue to actively work with all of our contractors, including dining service workers, throughout this crisis.

Dear members of the Emerson community: Please find below a statement from the College.

It has come to the College’s attention that misinformation is being disseminated regarding Emerson’s treatment and support of dining hall employees. Emerson College, throughout the COVID-19 health care and economic crisis, has endeavored to consider the people of our community first in all its decision-making. We care deeply about the well-being of all members of our community: faculty, students and staff, all of whom will be included in our recovery planning efforts. It is important to note that the College has not furloughed or dismissed any employee as a result of this crisis.

Dining center workers are employed by the College’s dining services company, whom the College contracts for its dining services. In the past, the College supported the dining service union’s request to its employer for increased compensation and benefits. While the College has not been contacted by the union, Emerson has reached out to its dining services contractor about this matter. We have continued to actively work with all of our contractors, including dining services, throughout the crisis.

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