Nine restaurants around Contra Costa County have been issued administrative fines for allegedly failing to provide workers' compensation insurance, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Surprise inspections on June 26 and last Friday by investigators with the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office, the state's Department of Industrial Relations' Labor Commissioner's Office and the Employment Development Department led to the issuance of more than $200,000 in fines.
The fines are $71,668 to Meson Azteca on Morello Avenue in Pleasant Hill, $51,262 to New Lim's Garden on Clayton Road in Concord, $28,5000 to Dragon City Restaurant on Sand Creek Road in Brentwood, $16,500 to La Mordida on Gregory Lane in Pleasant Hill, $15,000 to Sushi One on
Balfour Road in Brentwood, $7,500 each to Sunshine Cafe on Oak Park Boulevard and Tacos El Patron on Monument Boulevard, both in Pleasant Hill, $6,500 to Grand Street Pub and Pizzeria on Grant Street in Concord, and $4,500 to Sunshine Cafe on Railroad Avenue in Pittsburg.
The investigation found that across the nine restaurants there were 55 workers employed without insurance coverage in the event of an injury on the job, prosecutors said. All nine failed to respond to a warning letter from the district attorney's office last July.
"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," District Attorney Diana Becton said in a statement.
Anyone with information about companies that dissuade employees from filing claims, lie to an insurance carrier about who is employed, or fail to provide workers' compensation insurance can report it via email to DA-ReportFraud@contracostada.org.