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Pittsburgh Restaurant Gives Female Staff Paid Day Off For ‘A Day Without A Woman’

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON HUFFINGTONPOST.COM 

One Pittsburgh restaurateur is leading by example in recognizing the contributions of women to society. 

Don Mahaney, the owner of Scratch Food & Beverage, gave all of his female employees paid time off Wednesday in honor of International Women’s Day and the concurrent “A Day Without A Woman” strike.

The business will also use the day to hold an evening fundraiser benefiting Planned Parenthood that will feature a brief bartending appearance by Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, his office confirmed to The Huffington Post.

Mahaney told HuffPost that it was the least he could do to give back to the women who, in his words, “get the short end of the stick from the day they’re born.”

Owner Don Mahaney said he was inspired by a female employee who asked to take the day off to attend outside events. | WTAE

“It’s just one day of the year,” he said. “We owe it to them to recognize the basic fact that they get 80 cents to the dollar.” Women are also more likely to be the victims of sex trafficking, he added. “It’s a really unfair world.”

He credited his female bar manager, Mandi Crosby, with inspiring him to take charge after she requested the day off so she could attend outside events.

“I thought there’s probably a lot of women out there who’d like to take the day off who can’t do so,” he said. “I thought my staff should not have to deal with any of that so if they want the day off they can have it.”

Crosby, who Mahaney said is one of seven women among the restaurant’s 11-person staff, applauded his decision.

NURPHOTO VIA GETTY IMAGES | Women carrying American flags and signs are seen marching for equal rights in Rome, Italy as part of the International Women’s Day on Wednesday.

“I think everyone I’ve talked to about it so far thinks it’s a really awesome idea, and super generous of the owner Don to really step forward and say this is how it always should be,” she told local station, WTAE.

In the ladies’ absence, Mahaney said that local wellness program, Farm to Table Pittsburgh, will provide male bartenders to cover the women’s shifts, as the fundraiser will take place in the restaurant’s bar area.

Those looking to get a drink from Pittsburgh’s mayor will get a chance between 8:15 p.m. and 8:45 p.m., a spokesperson told HuffPost.

Mahaney, speaking to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, said choosing Planned Parenthood as their event’s beneficiary “just made sense to me.”

“They’re a great organization that does a lot to offer general health and reproductive health services and they’re more or less under constant attack,” he told the paper.

While Mahaney says most of the public response has been positive, he acknowledged that there have been some critics on social media who accuse them of “reverse sexism” and have asked, “when’s men’s day off?” (International Men’s Day, for the record, is November 19.)

“People are entitled to their opinions,” he responded.

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