Five Things You Need to Know: 1/30, Monday Edition

                               

CT Restaurant Ceases Operations After a Stop-Work Order  

    • Los Emperios Restaurant out of West Hartford, CT was closed over the weekend, after a big red sign labeled a state stop-work order and the shutdown of business operations. "The order says Los Imperios failed to secure the payment of workers' compensation, failed to obtain coverage that meets requirements, misrepresented employees as independent contractors and understated or concealed its payroll," writes Sandra Gomez-Aceves of the Hartford Courant. "The restaurant has had multiple crime-and alcohol-related incidents since it obtained a liquor license in November 2014," according to Courant files referenced in the article. A letter written by Police Chief Tracy Gove and Mayor Shari Cantor addressed to the state Department of Consumer Protection said that after the restaurant received its liquor license, police were called 11 times for fights/assaults and 39 times for disturbance complaints.  
California Mother and Son Evicted from Simi Valley Cemetery Property 
    • Leigh-anne Harrison-Bigbie and her son remained in on-campus housing although Harrison-Bigbie's last day as El Rancho Simi Pioneer Cemetery caretaker was Nov. 1. The two were former employees of the cemetery, and as a part of Harrison-Bigbie's compensation package, they could stay in the 1,200-square-foot dwelling, according to Melissa Simon of the Simi Valley Acorn. Harrison-Bigbie told the paper that she and her son, Gavin Fisher, remained there as long as he remained caretaker of the property. Fisher filed a workers' compensation claim over the summer after he was allegedly hurt on he job. "But on Dec. 19, a Ventura County Superior Court Judge upheld the district’s eviction of Harrison-Bigbie and her son, ordering the pair to vacate the home by Jan. 3. In addition, the mother and son were ordered to pay the cemetery about $3,000 rent for November and December," according to the article. The property was vacated, and the new cemetery manager will move in to the dwelling as soon as updates are made.  
Austrailian Pizza Huts Fined for Underpayment
    • The Fair Work Ombudsman said 24 of the 34 Pizza Huts audited "...were in breach of workplace law," writes Jackson Stiles of The New Daily. Among other issues, "...Seven of the 24 had classified their drivers as independent contractors rather than employees, with more than $12,000 in underpayments owing. And 32 per cent of the 170 workers looked at as part of the audit were under the age of 24," according to the article. Pizza Hut franchisees were issued fines of $6,300. "...the ombudsman is also considering potential litigation against one franchisee," according to the article.    
LEGISLATURE WATCH: 
 
Bill Would Permit Injured Workers to Choose Their Doctor in Montana 
    • Rep. Andrea Olsen (D-Missoula) is sponsoring House Bill 229, which, "...would reverse a 2011 law, which gave the responsibility of finding a health care provider to insurance companies and employers," according to Freddy Monares of the UM School of Journalism for the Great Falls Tribune. To say what doctor or treatment someone gets isn't in the best interest of anyone trying to heal, she said in the article. The Bill will be heard on Friday.  
Bill Addressing Coal Miners Introduced in Virginia Legislature 
    •  "[Senate Bill 1489] Specifies that the standards prescribed by the Virginia Workers' Compensation Commission for determining whether the death or total disability of an employee was due to pneumoconiosis or any chronic occupational lung disease shall not be inconsistent with the standards prescribed by the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services..." based on federal safety and health acts, according to the bill text. SB 1489 was introduced by Sen. Ben Chafin (R-Lebanon) with support from co-patron Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria), according to RichmondSunlight.com. “Under Virginia Workers' Compensation law, coal miners are able to apply for benefits for black lung in addition to the federal black lung benefits...” Chafin said in a Bluefield Daily Telegraph article written by Charles Owens. 


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