Failure to Report Workplace Injuries Costs Tacos El Gordo Over $40,000
When people think of workplace injuries, they tend to think of workers in fields like construction, healthcare, and manufacturing. However, even employees in relatively safe industries can find their earning potential limited by a serious work injury. Tacos El Gordo in Chula Vista recently racked up over $40,000 in fines when it didn’t report workplace injuries and failed to provide a safe work environment for employees.
Employee Fall Led to Serious Injury
In January of 2018, a Tacos El Gordo employee fell off a ladder and sustained serious injuries. Management at the restaurant did not inform safety officials, an infraction that can cost thousands on its own and impede an employee’s right to workers’ compensation. This raised the alarm for California’s Division of Occupational Health and Safety.
Tacos El Gordo Inspection Led to Even More Fines
Upon finding out about the unreported injury at Tacos El Gordo, the Division of Occupational Health and Safety launched an investigation into the Chula Vista location. The inspection found a total of 10 violations, including failing to report injuries, provide first aid kits, inform employees of the hazards of chemicals in cleaning products, and provide proper safety training to employees. Additionally, the restaurant did not offer training on the use of portable ladders and did not maintain an emergency eyewash station. The Chula Vista location did not pay its fines and closed later in 2018.
Tacos El Gordo’s troubles did not stop there. The Palm Avenue location received three violations later in the same year, due to an employee’s serious fall and consequent injuries. This location also did not provide adequate safety training to employees. All in all, the restaurant chain has over $45,000 in unpaid fines.
What This Means for Other California Employers
California is a state that strives to protect the health and safety of its workers. This is clear when you look at the strict regulations that employers must follow and the heavy fines levied against them when they do not comply. In addition to punishing specific companies for their workplace violations, these fines send a clear message to other employers in the state of California: mistreatment of employees and failure to keep them safe is not tolerated. Over time, these consequences may create a stronger culture of safety for California employees.
Protect Your Rights as an Employee
An injury in the workplace can be devastating, affecting your overall health, leading to substantial medical expenses, and limiting your earning potential for years. If you’ve been hurt at work, make sure you have someone on your side who can advocate for your needs and represent your interests. Contact Donald S. Fair, workers’ compensation lawyers in Upland, CA, at (909) 949-0317.