Review: Know Your Rights! A Restaurant Worker’s Survival Guide

Know Your RIghts!

For my first review, I am recommending Know Your Rights!: A Restaurant Worker’s Survival Guide.  This publication was recently published by the Portland Restaurant Workers Association (PRWA), which describes itself as “a community group of workers committed to promoting Solidarity, Support, & Education among food service workers in our city.”

The PRWA also recently teamed up with the Portland Central America Solidarity Committee to offer low-cost, highly interactive Spanish Language/Conversation classes, which you can learn more about here.

The small guide makes a handy resource to refer to, whether you’re unemployed, going through the hiring process, on the job, or getting fired.  At 1/4 page size, it’s also almost small enough to store in your back pocket.

Inside, the restaurant workers who wrote the zine present some resources for employment, legal services, and heath care, both local and national.  It also offers legal information that your employer is less likely to inform you of, such as your rights to be paid, and the terms for taking leave when you or a family member has a serious health condition or is the victim of a crime.  Of particular interest to restaurant workers is the issue of tips.  The guide points out that Oregon law does not address tips and even the U.S. Department of Labor fails to enforce federal regulations in the state.  The PRWA wants to hear more from restaurant workers about their experience with tips.  You can send your story to them at

Know Your Rights!: A Restaurant Worker’s Survival Guide is available to view at the Independent Publishing Resource Center.  You can also contact PRWA at to get your own copy.  They plan to hold discussion forums this year to distribute, discuss, and receive feedback about the pamphlet.