Tuesday, September 30, 2014

After years of kindness, this restaurant owner is finding out that no good deed goes unnoticed.

Nabiha Islam worked at a Dairy Queen in Markham, Ontario, under owner Yvonne Lavasidis. Though she stopped working there about three or four years ago, Islam didn’t forget the care and compassion that the owner had for her. So recently Islam, who was a student when she worked at the fast food joint, sent a letter to Lavasidis thanking her. Lavasidis shared the heartfelt note on Facebook and one of her friends posted it on Reddit. It has since gone viral.

letter to yvonne
The letter Islam sent to Lavasidis.

“Well, I’m a doctor now! It’s taken me a long time, I know, to come back around to Dairy Queen but I have thought of you and your kindnesses often,” Islam wrote in the note. “You are an incredible boss and an even better human being.”

Lavasidis, who received the letter last Monday, said that she was moved by Islam’s words.

Obviously I was so very touched. I was in tears when I read the note for the first time, and every time I read it, it still brings tears to my eyes,” she told ABC News.

dq ontario yvonne
Dairy Queen owner Yvonne Lavasidis.

Islam thanked her former boss for allowing her to focus on school while working at the restaurant, saying, “Thank you for supporting and encouraging me, for BBQing halal chicken for me, and allowing me to study for my MCATs in the back when no customers were around.”

The Dairy Queen owner says that Islam’s achievement came as no surprise. She told The Huffington Post in a message that she had always known Islam to be a bright student and a friendly person.

“I remember her as a very intelligent and hardworking individual. She was wonderful with our customers and a joy to work with,” Lavasidis wrote to HuffPost, “Her success is very well-deserved.”

The 43-year-old was pleased to hear that she created a healthy working environment for Islam, and said that she tries hard to make her restaurant a place where her employees can still put their education first.

“It can be difficult to manage life, school and a part-time job to contribute to your family’s income or help pay the bills. We like to create a positive environment,” she told Today.com. “When they have exams, papers, tests, sometimes we help them study or give them days off when they need it. We try to be flexible that way.”

While fostering such an environment may take more effort, Lavasidis says that the letter from Islam is proof that it’s all worth it.

Sometimes you don’t realize how perhaps you might be influencing someone,” she told ABC News.

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Sept 29 (Reuters) – New York Mayor Bill de Blasio plans to expand the city’s living wage measure to include thousands of additional workers, as well as increase the amount workers are paid under the law, the New York Times reported on Monday.

De Blasio will sign an executive order on Tuesday to make the change, which his administration estimated could extend coverage to 18,000 workers over the next five years, the newspaper said on its website.

The living wage would go to $ 11.50 an hour from $ 10.30 for workers who receive benefits such as health insurance, and for those without benefits, it would rise to $ 13.13 an hour from $ 11.90 an hour, the paper said.

The planned action follows moves by several cities to raise wages for workers at the bottom of the pay scale.

Seattle approved a phased-in $ 15 overall minimum wage in June, while San Francisco residents will vote on a $ 15 minimum in November and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has pledged to bring the city’s minimum wage to $ 13.25 an hour by 2017.

During his campaign for mayor last year, de Blasio railed against economic inequality in America’s most populous city.

“We cannot continue to allow rampant and growing income inequality,” de Blasio told the paper. “Every tool counts. If we reach 18,000 families with this tool and get them to a decent standard of living, that’s a game-changer for those families.”

The mayor’s executive order would cover employees of commercial tenants in development projects that take in more than $ 1 million in city subsidies, the paper said.

The 18,000 workers who would be covered represent about 70 percent of all jobs at businesses that will get financial help from the city’s Economic Development Corporation, it added.

The city’s living wage law was passed in 2012, and officials told the newspaper that it applied to about 1,200 jobs.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, supports a plan to raise the state’s minimum wage to $ 10.10 an hour, from $ 8 now, and allow New York City and other areas to set it 30 percent higher.

If approved by the state legislature, the plan could allow de Blasio to match the minimum wage to the living wage. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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