Do you know what your employees are up to? If you don't chances are someone else will, and you might face legal trouble because of it. A restaurant owner in Iowa is being fined, thanks to the toad loving antics of his chef. The Scott County Health Department officials also very much appreciated the fact that the chef's actions violating the health code were captured on video, making their job that much easier.
According to the Associated Press, owner of the Osaka Restaurant, Yidi When, will be charged $335 in fines thanks to the toad licking that went on in the kitchen of his restaurant. Chef Christopher Turla was captured on video kissing, licking and finally stuffing toads into his mouth, all filmed and thoughtfully posted on Youtube by his brother.
Although it might be good for company morale for employees to blow off some steam, breaking the law while doing it and recording the infractions usually ends in some sort of penalty. Another example of similar behavior occurred in December, 2008. The New York Daily News reported that three female employees of a KFC in Anderson, California, were caught taking a bikini-clad dip in the restaurant's kitchen basin. Shortly before that, a Burger King employee in Ohio was fired for doing much the same thing. All employees were dismissed based on the photos of their activities they posted online.
These days, it is not just the young and cool who are checking Facebook and Youtube early and often, it is also the boss, and evidently, the Health Department. Business owners should use caution not only about who is recording employees' actions, but the actions as well. If employees get hurt at work, even doing something silly, there's a chance it just might result in a workers' compensation claim, or a lawsuit. Stranger things have happened. As evidenced by these cases, it can also result in health code violations, penalties and dismissals.
In the case of the toad licking chef, he is still on the job. Patient employer, Yidi When, has told the AP that he is just a "funny guy" who needs a bit more training in restaurant sanitation.
- Kentucky Fried Chicken trio photographed turning sink into hot tub (New York Daily News)
- Kid's Lemonade Stand Shut Down by County Inspectors (FindLaw's Legally Weird)
- Checklist to Minimize Workplace Accidents (FindLaw)
- Workers' Comp Information Center (provided by Lerner Piermont & Riverol)