Restaurants Targeted by US Labor Department Wage and Hour Division to Prevent Wage and Hour Violations

The US Department of Labor is launching an initiative to enforce wage and hour standards for restaurants in Portland, Oregon, according to a press release from the department on April 5, 2012.

“The restaurant industry employs some of our country’s lowest-paid workers, who are particularly vulnerable to exploitation,” said Jeffrey Genkos, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Portland District Office.

Protect your business from employee lawsuits. Invensure offers Employment Practices Liability Insurance at great rates.

“…these employees are reluctant to step forward and complain when subjected to wage violations. Investigators will be making unannounced visits to restaurants throughout the area to conduct investigations, remedy widespread labor violations, and ensure that law-abiding employers who pay their workers full and fair wages are not placed at a competitive disadvantage.”

Because of pressure on restaurants to serve low cost meals and still turn a profit, the food service industry is rife with wage and hour violations. In addition, not all restaurants are in compliance with OSHA safety standards.

Safety Training for California Restaurants

Common wage and hour violations include:

  • Not paying for all hours worked
  • Employees performing work duties “off the clock”
  • Designating employees as exempt from overtime when they are not exempt
  • Paying nonexempt employees a flat salary regardless of any overtime they have worked
  • Paying cash wages off the books
  • Not paying employees proper minimum wage and overtime
  • Illegal deductions from workers’ wages for uniforms, breakages, customer walk-outs, and cash register shortages
  • Child labor violations, such as minors to operating hazardous equipment (dough mixers, meat slicers, trash compactors, etc.) or working excess hours

California is also cracking down on wage and hour violations for restaurants. In a high profile case, Brinker Restaurant Corp is being sued for wage and hour violations. This is a very expensive case for them to try.

Since the crackdown seems to be an emerging trend that will only grow bigger, it is important that you stay up to date with OSHA compliance for restaurants, safety standards, and know all the wage and hour laws for your industry.

It is also a good idea to have Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) for your restaurant, because if you are sued by your employees, the coverage can mean the difference between your business surviving or going belly up.

Invensure’s “Insurance 4 Food Industry” Program is a one stop solution for your California restaurant. We have industry experts who can assist you with your insurance, OSHA compliance, safety programs, and other risks that can affect your business.

Invensure’s holistic approach will not only help you to protect yourself if a problem occurs, it can actually prevent problems from happening in the first case and can lower the costs associated with risk for the long term.

Call (949) 756-4100 to learn more.
We are happy to assist you.


OSHA Compliance & Safety Checklists for Restaurants

It is exciting to announce that we have completed our restaurant safety and OSHA compliance checklists and are now offering this program to our clients.

Safety Checklist for California Restaurant Insurance ProgramWe don’t just quote insurance and this is proof. What we provide is a valuable service that is beyond what other local insurance brokers do.

Just last week we did an OSHA compliance review with one of our restaurant owners and found violations that would have cost him $11,800 in fines if an inspector came in. We helped him correct the errors and helped him save $11,800.

Not only did we save him the amount of money a fine would cost him, we also helped reduce his workers’ compensation rates by doing the service as well. Invensure offers a complete, holistic approach to risk management that is more than just insurance.

Not only does Invensure provide the right protection for when somethings, we also help to prevent problems and reduce your overall cost of risk.

If you have questions about how we can help with your restaurant safety and insurance in Southern California, call (800) 331-4700.

Restaurant Workplace Liability: Slips, Trips, and Falls

In the restaurant and food industry in Southern California, slip, trip and fall injuries are some of the most common Workers’ Compensation claims.

According to OSHA, “Slips, trips, and falls constitute the majority of general industry accidents. They cause 15% of all accidental deaths, and are second only to motor vehicles as a cause of fatalities.”

Employers are responsible for the safety and health of their employees. In addition to OSHA requirements, employers who follow a good safety program will benefit from the reduction in the cost of their workers’ compensation insurance premiums over time.

To help prevent slip, trip, and fall injuries, OSHA requires that restaurants do the following:

  • Keep all places of employment clean and orderly and in a sanitary condition [1910.22(a)(1)].
  • Keep floors clean and dry [1910.22(a)(2)]. In addition to being a slip hazard, continually wet surfaces promote the growth of mold, fungi, and bacteria that can cause infections.
  • Provide warning signs for wet floor areas [1910.145(c)(2)].

Invensure offers industry specific safety programs and insurance for the food industry and restaurants in California. There is a special Workers’ Compensation Cost Reduction Program specifically geared to the food industry that is designed to lower risk and associated costs.

Call (800) 331-4700 to learn more.

How to Save Money on Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Restaurants: Safety Programs

Did you know that for all employment related injuries and illnesses that occur worldwide, one out of 20 occur at eating and drinking establishments?

The 4 most common injuries at restaurants include: cust, burns, strains, and eye injuries. Because of frequent contact with knives, slicers, and broken dishes and glasses, restaurant staff are prone to cuts and lacerations.

The second most common injuries at restaurants are burns, for obvious reasons. Approximately one-third of all job-related burns occur in restaurants.

Sprains and strains are next on the list of injuries to restaurant workers. Overreaching, trips and falls, hard-to-reach items, and improper lifting are the major causes of this type of injury.

Eye injuries are the fourth most common injury in restaurants because of splashes from grease or cleaning agents.

According to studies from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), “for every $1 spent in safety programs, businesses can save between $4 to $6 from costs associated with injuries and fatalities.”

Because the cost of your workers’ compensation is directly affected by the number and severity of claims, a good safety program is the first step in lowering the cost of your workers compensation premium.

Invensure offers safety training programs for restaurants as a part of our complete risk management and insurance service. Call (949) 756-4100 and ask for Vicki, our restaurant specialist, to learn more about the program.