California Restaurant Fined $239,000 in Wage Theft Violations

A restaurant in San Francisco had to pay 14 employees more than $239,000 for wage theft violations, according to the California Labor Commissioner.

According to California law, employees who work more than eight hours in a day are required to be paid 1.5 times their normal pay rate for the first four hours over eight, and double time after 12 hours in a day. An employee who works more than 40 hours in a week is entitled to receive 1.5 times their normal pay rate for any hours over 40.

However, in the case of the Big Lantern restaurant, employees did not receive overtime pay and some salaried employees did not even receive minimum wage after working overtime, according to attorney David Balter.

Underpaying workers is a large problem in the restaurant industry, and the labor commissioner is getting tougher on restaurants in general. To protect yourself as a restaurant owner, you should get Employment Practices Liability Insurance.

If you are in Southern California, call the restaurant specialists at Invensure to learn more: (949) 756-4100.

Restaurant Business Insurance

Restaurant business insurance is a lot like insurance for other businesses with the addition of coverages that are specific to the food industry. However, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that any old insurance agent can help you get the right policy. As a restaurant owner or manager, you should only work with an agent who specializes in restaurant insurance. That way you can be confident that you have the right coverage to protect you financially.

A common problem in the food industry is that restaurant owners go through an insurance broker (or agent) who does not have any food industry experience. They use a friend of the family or some other broker and wind up in a mess of trouble when something goes wrong.

Recently, there was a case where a restaurant owner allowed a general business insurance agent look into policies for them. When it was time to renew, the agent promised them low rates, and managed to lower the premium. The restaurant owner was happy about this until two loss events occurred. When these losses happened and the owner went to the insurance company, it turns out the restaurant was not covered because the agent had dropped the coverages on renewal! An agent with restaurant would have never dropped these coverages, which ended up costing the owner over $100,000!

A few basic things you should know about California Restaurant Business Insurance:

Employment Liability Practices Insurance
In California, about 60% of restaurant owners will face employee lawsuits this year. In the restaurant industry, the hours that wait staff works can be irregular and unpredictable. California has tough wage and hour laws and new rules make them even more confusing. Restaurant owners need Employment Practices Liability Insurance to protect themselves financially against employee lawsuits.

Food Specific Insurance Coverages
Several types of insurance coverages are made specifically for the food industry. Depending on the type of restaurant you have and the volume you sell, your insurance agent will help you get the appropriate coverage:

  • Food Product Liability
  • Food Spoilage Coverage
  • Food Contamination Coverage
  • Food Product Recall Coverage

A qualified agent can help you determine exactly which policies you need to help protect your business.

Insurance for the Restaurant Building and Equipment
Like other business insurance policies, you will need insurance coverage for your building and equipment, as well as

California Workers’ Compensation Insurance
All employers in California are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees.

Other Types of Business Insurance
Business interruption coverage, valet coverage, auto, liquor liability, bailee coverage, and cyber crime insurance policies are just a few of the other products available. Work with your agent to determine which insurance you need for your business.
In sum, speak to an expert who works with restaurants in California for their insurance. You want someone who knows your industry inside and out who can help you best protect your business.

Invensure specializes in insuring restaurants in Southern California. Restaurant business insurance experts are available.
Call (800) 331-4700

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.