Restaurants in one state county received over $200,000 in admin fines for failing to cover employees.
Nine restaurants in California are now facing substantial workers compensation fines for failing to adequately cover their employees.
The fines were the result of a joint enforcement strike force investigation in Contra Costa County.
The strike force issued over $200,000 in total administrative workers compensation fines. The fines were issued to the Contra Costa County restaurants for failing to cover their employees according to state laws. The investigators were from the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Labor Commissioner’s Office, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, and the Employment Development Department.
The inspection was conducted as a surprise in restaurants throughout Contra Costa County in June and July. They targeted restaurants suspected of having evaded their legal obligation to cover their employees with adequate workers compensation insurance.
The restaurants were issued the workers compensation fines for not protecting employees in case of injury.
The workers compensation coverage is meant to make sure the employees have the coverage they need in case they should ever be injured while on the job. Together, the affected restaurants employed a total of 55 workers, all of whom were not protected in case of workplace injury, according to the Labor Commissioner’s Office.
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The restaurants were not without their advance warning, according to an Insurance Journal report. Though the inspection itself was a surprise, the District Attorney’s Office had issued warning letters to each of the restaurants back in 2017, to which none of the businesses had replied.
According to California law, willful failure to provide employees with adequate coverage is punishable by misdemeanor criminal prosecution and workers compensation fines. Moreover, the Labor Code also states that employer must post a notice in a conspicuous location that identifies the current workers compensation insurance status.
According to the report, the affected restaurants were: Dragon City Restaurant in Brentwood ($28,500), Grant Street Pub and Pizzeria in Concord ($6,500), La Mordida in Pleasant Hill ($16,500), Meson Azteca in Pleasant Hill ($71,668), New Lim’s Garden in Concord ($51,262), Sunshine Café in Pittsburg ($4,500), Sunshine Café in Pleasant Hill ($7,500), Sushi One in Brentwood ($15,000), and Tacos El Patron in Pleasant Hill ($7,500).