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Teaism announced as winner of DC’s first Carrotmob

November 8, 2010

Teaism, the popular DC tea house and restaurant, has been announced as the winner of DC’s first Carrotmob.  The online contest, held on the anniversary of the passage of the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act by the Council of the District of Columbia in 2008, seeks to reward restaurants that treat their employees fairly through consumer purchasing power.

The Restaurant Opportunities Center and the DC Employment Justice Center conceived the contest following similar actions organized worldwide, from San Francisco to Dallas, Germany to Argentina.  Carrotmobs, which refer by name to the use of carrots rather than sticks to encourage good behavior, work as a reverse boycott: customers organize themselves as a group to choose a store that engages in socially responsible business practices, and then shop there en masse.  Previous carrotmobs have rewarded businesses for taking energy-efficient measures such as upgrading their lighting systems.  ROC and the EJC intend for DC’s carrotmob to highlight the employment practices of restaurants in the District of Columbia and the benefits restaurant employees receive, or don’t.

The DC sick leave law guarantees the right of employees to receive a certain number of paid sick days each year; however, the law was written to leave out tipped workers.  As a result, many restaurant workers do not receive paid sick days.  The winner, Teaism, is one of the few restaurants that offer paid sick days to all of their employees.

Participants voted online for the most socially responsible business from among Teaism, Busboys and Poets, Freshii, Maoz, SEI Restaurant, and Sticky Rice.  The winner was announced on November 6.  Carrotmob participants will gather at the Teaism location in Penn Quarter (400 8th St., NW) on Saturday, November 14 at 10 am.

Michael Paarlberg

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