CA Mexican Fast Food Chain Safety Penalties Mounting Up

Source: Cal/OSHA

A California fast-food taco chain is on the hook for not providing safe working conditions for their employees, and failing to pay the associated fines.

Fox 5 reports that according to the Department of Industrial Relations, the popular Tacos El Gordo chain in San Diego owes $45,150 in unpaid fines for 10 safety violations found at its now-closed 3rd Avenue location in Chula Vista last May and earned another three penalties at its Palm Avenue location in July.

According to the Department, store management cooperated with investigators and took steps to resolve the hazards, but the company never paid its fines.

The DIR’S Frank Polizzi says that more than 90 days have passed since a court judgment was filed and that the fines will incur additional interest and court fees.

The citations in Chula Vista stemmed from an investigation into a worker’s serious injuries after falling from a metal shelf at the store.

The store’s violations included:

  • Failing to properly report that injury;
  • Failing to provide proper safety training and first aid kits; and
  • Failing to inform employees about the hazards of cleaning products and other workplace chemicals.

The chain was cited for three more violations at its Palm Avenue location two months later. Those violations related to a worker’s serious head and hip injuries after falling in a restaurant hallway.

Again, OSHA fined the restaurant for not properly reporting the injuries and for failing to train workers on safety issues.

Officials said the three citations amounted to $5,860. The store did not appeal the citations but never paid the fine, according to the DIR.

Last year, the Mexican food chain closed one of its locations citing a staff shortage. A sign hanging outside the Palm Avenue location read, “closed for lack of employees.”