Despite what thousands of leftie salad-eaters will tell you, we live in a country where we have the right to decide what foods we eat. If you want a big, juicy steak, and you can afford it, you can dine on steak. If you want pasta, you can indulge in that, too. Unless, of course, you happen to work for WeWork in Charlotte, North Carolina. The shared workspace office recently had the audacity to tell workers they have decided to cut off reimbursements for employees for any meal that contains meat.
• WeWork’s Charlotte office is home to two distinct businesses: Bean Vegan Cuisine, a vegan restaurant, and a second shared office space for everyone from freelancers to mobile businesses and larger teams. WeWork doesn’t just provide the location – they also provided amenities like office supplies, cold draft on top at the in-office bar, and micro-roasted coffee.
• Typically, WeWork’s employees had the option to have meals reimbursed if they were required in the line of work. For example, if a manager was meeting a potential new account, and they met at a restaurant, they would pay for that meal as part of doing business. In some cases, this also included lunches.
• Just last week, the company sent out a memo telling their “valued” employees that they will no longer pay for, reimburse, or serve any meal that isn’t vegetarian. Workers who don’t’ subscribe to the leafy lifestyle are just plain out of luck and have to pay for their own.
• WeWork claims the move is their attempt at being “environmentally conscious.” They also claim it will save “16.7 billion gallons of water, 445 million pounds of CO2 emissions, and and 15.5 million animals” – but it isn’t clear how or where they got these numbers.
• What is clear is the fact that cutting out meat will save the business a significant amount of money. The question of the day is “at what cost?” Many employees are complaining that WeWork shouldn’t have the right to regulate their diets or control what they eat, even if they are being reimbursed.
• Lowell Austin, who works for WeWork, said it best. “I think that should be someone’s own opinion whether they want to eat meat or not.” Giving companies the right to moderate a food budget makes sense; after all, companies have to be careful with their money. But inserting personal morals into a professional environment? That’s a slippery slope to infringed rights.
At United Voice, we love when our readers get involved in the conversation. We value your opinions and believe in giving you the power to speak your mind. Tell us in the comments what you think of companies being able to regulate diet choices. Do you support it? Do you hate it? What would you do if your own employer told you what to eat?