By Scott Alonso, Public Information Officer, Contra Costa County Office of the District Attorney
A joint enforcement strike force issued over $200,000 in administrative fines to nine Contra Costa County restaurants for failing to provide workers’ compensation insurance, announced District Attorney Diana Becton. On June 26 and July 20, 2018, investigators from the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office, Department of Industrial Relations’ Labor Commissioner’s Office, and Employment Development Department conducted surprise inspections at Contra Costa County restaurants suspected of deliberately evading the obligation to provide workers’ compensation insurance to employees.
The citations issued by the Labor Commissioner’s Office allege that the restaurants cumulatively employed 55 workers without providing insurance coverage in the event of an injury on the job. The restaurants failed to respond to a warning letter from the District Attorney’s Office in July of 2017.
District Attorney Diana Becton said, “The District Attorney’s Office is committed to protecting the workers of Contra Costa County. Operations like these are an important part of obtaining compliance before an employee finds out the hard way that their employer did not have coverage for a severe injury.”
The Labor Code requires employers to provide workers compensation insurance to cover employees in the event of an on-the-job injury.
“This operation protects employers who are playing by the rules from being undercut by those who don’t,” said California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su. “We also issued these citations because employees are entitled to workers’ compensation insurance if they are hurt on the job.”
Willful failure to provide the insurance is punishable by substantial fines and misdemeanor criminal prosecution. Employees that do not know whether they are covered can check their employer’s notices board or ask a manager. Labor Code section 3550 requires the employers to post a notice identifying the current insurance at a conspicuous location.
Anyone with information about employers who dissuade employees from filing claims after they are injured, lie to a workers compensation insurance carrier about who is employed and what jobs they actually do, or fail to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage at all, can report that information to DA-ReportFraud@contracostada.org. Labor Code section 1102.5 prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee who reports a violations of a California statute, rule, or regulation to a supervisor or government agency.
Joint Enforcement Strike Results:
- Meson Azteca, 2237 & 2239 Morello Ave., Pleasant Hill ($71,668)
- New Lim’s Garden, 4340 Clayton Rd., Concord ($51,262)
- Dragon City Restaurant, 71 Sand Creek Rd., Brentwood ($28,500)
- La Mordida, 607 Gregory Lane, Ste. 140, Pleasant Hill ($16,500)
- Sushi One, 3111 Balfour Rd., Brentwood ($15,000)
- Sunshine Café, 1908 Oak Park Blvd. Pleasant Hill ($7,500)
- Tacos El Patron, 2290 Monument Blvd., Pleasant Hill ($7,500)
- Grant Street Pub and Pizzeria, 1822 Grant St., Concord ($6,500)
- Sunshine Café, 2227 Railroad Ave, Pittsburg ($4,500)