Restaurateur welcomes asymptomatic employees with coronavirus, employee’s relative says

MIAMI – Most of the fans of authentic Salvadoran food — the stretchy cheese “pupusa” corn tortilla and the flavorful “curtido” relish — know the Nueva San Salvador restaurant chain in Miami-Dade County. The relative of one of their former employees has a warning for them.

The woman, who asked not to be identified, said the Nueva San Salvador #2 management has been welcoming asymptomatic employees who tested positive for COVID-19. She said they are also not paying those who don’t show up to work because of the illness.

“There is a young woman who told me she is already infecting others,” the woman said in Spanish. “They are telling the employees, ‘If you feel good, come to work.’ That’s not the way it should be.”

Members of the Miami Police Department’s coronavirus task force responded to the restaurant on Tuesday at 2500 NW 20th St. They have responded to reports of coronavirus outbreak concerns there three times in the past few weeks.

Blanca Portillo, who identified herself as a manager, said they were taking the employees’ temperatures and none of them have COVID-19, so customers shouldn’t be concerned about getting infected. Although testing is free at the Miami Marlins stadium, it remains optional.

“Something has to be done! They have to clean this place and they have to pay the employees,” the woman said in Spanish

Attorney Russell Landry said anyone who finds themselves in the predicament the relative of the restaurant employee described can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor.