Understanding Insurance in The Restaurant Industry | Mann & Elias
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Understanding Insurance in The Restaurant Industry

Los Angeles Attorneys for Restaurant Employees

If you work in the restaurant industry, that makes you one of over 15.1 million employees. American restaurant businesses only account for 10% of the overall workforce. Because of that, employment violations often get overlooked. At Mann & Elias, we encourage restaurant workers to understand the conditions of employment upon hire. That way, if you notice any discrepancies or sense your employer is violating your right to insurance, our Los Angeles workplace lawyers can build a case against them.

No Insurance Policy?

Health insurance plays a crucial role in the workplace. It offers a sense of security for employees when they get sick. Workers often inquire whether small businesses are required to provide these benefits. In California, there are no laws that demand an employer to offer healthcare for employees.

Keep in mind, companies providing insurance must adhere to state laws to give you, the employee, access to group coverage. A Los Angeles labor attorney can help you understand more about what this entails if you get denied this job perk.

Restaurant Insurance Explained

Across the U.S., restaurant employees work hard, sometimes overtime, for very little pay. In recent years the Affordable Care Act (ACA) made it easier and more affordable for small businesses to purchase quality healthcare insurance. Most employers across the U.S. do offer this benefit. But over 60% of restaurant owners do not. Proving the hospitality and food industries need to establish better access for everyone.

Small and medium-sized establishments operate on smaller staff. So why isn’t it affordable for employers or staff alike? The fact is restaurants don’t make enough profits. According to The Balance Career, of every dollar earned, 71 cents is redistributed through employee paychecks, external and internal business expenses.

Be mindful of upper management that looks to cut corners by overworking their staff or offsetting some expenses with your paycheck. We recommend keeping a documented log of any inconsistencies before you file an internal report. If you need an employee rights attorney for restaurant workers to take further action, schedule a free consultation with us.

Not All Employees Have Access to Health Insurance

There is a disproportionate number of uninsured and underinsured waiters, waitresses, chefs, and additional kitchen staff. Suppose you find that other employees of a similar role have health insurance. In California, employers do not have to provide health insurance to everyone. For instance, if you are not a salaried employee, work full-time hours, or have a managerial role, it may not be applicable for you.

Be wary of discriminatory behavior that goes against your protected rights. It would be illegal if your employer granted benefits solely to men and not to women. Or if your employer offered healthcare to Caucasian employees instead of Black or Hispanic workers. If this happens, reach out to our restaurant worker rights lawyer in LA for immediate legal advice. Navigating through workplace disputes on your own might result in retaliation from upper management.

If My Employer Doesn’t Offer Health Insurance, Can I Rely on Workers’ Compensation?

Restaurant employees are exposed to hazards every day. If your employer doesn’t offer health insurance, you can at least rely on workers’ compensation when you get hurt on the job. Chefs, waitresses, and kitchen staff are subject to grease burns, slippery floors, water scalds, sprains, cuts, among other hazards.

In California, all business owners and employers must have workers’ compensation insurance through:

  • An insurance company policy
  • Certification that allows an employer to insure itself per the Director of Industrial Relations

Failing to carry workers’ comp can lead to penalties double the amount of your premium (over $10,000) and up to a year in jail.

It’s not uncommon for owners to rely on workers’ comp over healthcare. If they pay the premiums, the insurance company will handle all their compensation claims for work-related damages and pay any outstanding benefits.

In this case, if a worker files a claim, they will speak directly to the insurer. We recommend having an attorney for restaurant workers in LA review your claim before submitting it, as the insurer (not your employer) will establish how much it’s worth.

Unfair treatment happens in the restaurant industry all the time. It can be challenging to understand the full extent of your rights in such a busy and bustling setting. Turn to our firm for legal assistance.

About Mann & Elias

The Law Offices of Mann & Elias is an employment law firm that provides guidance and legal support for individuals facing issues in the workplace. When you retain one of our lawyers, you will be well-protected and advised. For dedicated representation with no upfront fees, give us a call at 323-866-9564 or email info@mannelias.com.



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