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I contracted Typhoid while visiting family in Central America for a funeral. I work minimal wage at a restaurant/arcade preparing food, and cannot afford to miss work. My boss will not allow me paid sick leave, so I have no choice but to show. My symptoms have mellowed enough that I can work without jeopardizing my own health, but I imagine I remain highly contagious.

Will I be legally liable if a child becomes infected and dies, or will that fall to the proprietor who knew? Missing pay is not an option I can afford unfortunately; the moral implication of my working is out of my control.

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    Clearly relevant: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Mallon – DJohnM Oct 5 '18 at 16:56
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    "...the moral implication of my working is out of my control." No, it is not. That's being stupid and lazy. Tell your boss and get him to help you get unemployment. Find a community medical clinic and get treated. if he already knows you have Typhoid, point out he may be held legally liable by patrons who get sick; and the city/county inspector and be put out of business very quickly. – BlueDogRanch Oct 5 '18 at 17:06
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You will probably have been presented with a form mentioning "Texas Food Establishment Rules (TFER) Section: §228.35", which requires you to report symptoms and diagnoses which include Salmonella Typhi. That does not guarantee that you actually got such a form or that you remember signing it, but theoretically you did. The regulations are given here and here. The model form includes the information above the signature line "I understand that failure to comply with the terms of this agreement could lead to action by the food establishment or the food regulatory authority that may jeopardize my employment and may involve legal action against me".

  • The link to "Salmonella Typhi" was broken. I proposed an edit to fix it, but feel free to change it if you wanted to link elsewhere. – Michael Seifert Oct 6 '18 at 12:54
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Will I be legally liable if a child becomes infected and dies, or will that fall to the proprietor who knew?

Both you and the proprietor would have legal liability, probably for punitive damages as well as compensatory damages, because you knew about the clear and present danger of making other people sick, or even causing their deaths, and you did nothing about it.

Your liability isn't even a close call, because, as noted in the answer by @user6726 there is regulation that you were or should have been given notice of which specifically prohibits you from working in this situation.

Also, even if you have few symptoms, that doesn't mean that you aren't still contagious, as you acknowledge in your question.

You and the proprietor would each also probably face criminal charges of negligent homicide or manslaughter. Each of you would be guilty of those crimes.

Missing pay is not an option I can afford unfortunately; the moral implication of my working is out of my control.

This is bullshit.

You are culpable and you are capable of not doing work you are legally not allowed to do. If you have to quit and find another job, then that is what you must do. If that means you need to apply for unemployment benefits or welfare, then that is what you need to do.

Millions of dollars of legal liability that can't be discharged in bankruptcy because you caused it willfully, and years in prison, are what shouldn't be an option for you.

  • I am one paycheck away from homelessness, with a family. Finding another job is difficult for a person of my class. I have no assets to sue, and jail is an inevitability once homeless. What is a no brainer for you, is a difficult choice for me. – anonymous Oct 6 '18 at 16:27
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    @anonymous In May, you claimed to be a surgeon but, three days later, you were a retired cellular biologist and medical researcher. So, please, lay off the heart-wrenching lies. – David Richerby Oct 7 '18 at 0:18
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    @anonymous what would your family do while you're in prison and bankrupt because you violated the law and transmitted typhoid? A few weeks or months with you on unemployment or welfare will surely be less traumatic than several years with you in prison. – phoog Oct 8 '18 at 17:57

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