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Employee's broken promises - missing 1st aid kit

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm in a dillema here, and would like some input. Both opinions and facts.

The story so far - I've been working at this place for five months. Three chefs changed during that time and I'm the only one left. I'm the floater right now. During those five months, on several occasions I alerted both the chef, owener and manager about a lack of first aid kit. To no avail.

Two weeks ago, I got injured. Cut finger. All I had in the kitchen were three band aids that a server bought a few weeks earlier. I had to go with hillbilly bandages(masking tape, c-folds, plastic gloves). I finished the shift, and some extra stuff was bought off a market near by.

I demanded a first aid kit at that time, and was promised one. Since then two weeks are over, and I'm given excuses and more promises. One day it's supposed to be bought that afternoon at home depot, and the next day it's supposed to be ordered from a speciel company. During that time another cook got injured and again, there was no medical supplies for him.

Now this isn't the first broken promise. I asked for several things, all for the restaurant good not mine. Like ticket holder for the pantry, reatchment of a reachin door(it's been broken for two months, we have to remove the door and return it, for protein accesss). It's always the same response. Yes, sure, we're on it.

My queastion is first personal - What would you do in my place?

Second is my legal situation. Is there somebody I can report this to? If I quit can I use this situation in order to recieve unemployment? What's the right procedure? Can I sue?

I live and work in philadelphia. And no I won't get a kit myself. I'm a cook right now and I won't take on responsebilites for which people are already hired and payed accordindly.

Thanks guys.
post #2 of 13
Same situation as the last place I worked at. They were pretty good at fixing things, but restocking the first aid kit was not a high priority for them.

I've been keeping a stock of bandaids and antibiotic ointment in my locker, and about five bandaids or so in my knife roll, just in case. I'd rather lay out the bucks for my personal convience, then to fiddle with tape and towels.

Sounds like managment won't learn anything until some poor bleeding cook runs through the dining room spraying blood everywhere while trying to find the first-aide kit.

You could report it to OSHA or your local department of labor, but I don't think they would be quick to act on it.

As far as unemployment goes, the best thing to do is have another job lined up so you don't have to worry about your down time. I ignored that piece of advice when trouble started at my last job, so I'm getting off to a slow start on my own job hunt.

Keep notes in your journal. These jokers are good examples of how not to run a BOH. Hang in there and don't jepordize your cash flow.
post #3 of 13
...and now you understand why three chefs left in a five month span.
Never eat more than you can lift! - Miss Piggy
Never eat more than you can lift! - Miss Piggy
post #4 of 13
IMO, generally speaking, owners and management don't give a rap about cooks. The food goes out, and they just don't care. Cooks are expendable plebes.

Sorry, that's just the way it is, but that's what makes us cooks. That's what made us what we are, and why we take the liberties we do, why we are close, why we are our own little fraternity. So being treated like b@stard children has it's advantages.

The real answer is to either cowboy up, or move on down the road.

As to a contested unemployment claim, you don't even want to go there.
99% of the time, you are going to come out on the short end. Line up another job, and make a quick, clean, and smooth transition.
post #5 of 13
Yeah, I think that's a direct violation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act. If you don't feel safe where you work, then you have the option to tell your Head Chef of this matter. If he does nothing about this (which would be extremely unethical) then inform the Head Chef you'll be calling OHS and telling them about this. They won't want that, I'm sure.
post #6 of 13
If you are cut, burnt; and first aid supplies aren't available, simply go to a 24 walk-in clinic, ask them to clean and dress the wound. Tell them it's a workman's comp accident and give them the name of the employer. Once they start seeing an increase in the amount of their workman comp premium, they will start paying attention.
post #7 of 13
I make sure you know who the workers comp carrier is, their adress and the policy number. This should be posted with the poster that details all the state and federal labor laws. Carry this info in your wallet at all times. Do it BEFORE you get hurt.

When I got hurt on the job, the bosses "didn't know" who the carrier was, but that they would take care of it. Bottom of the line, I got stuck with $1,800 of hospital bills.

Make sure you CYA. Always CYA.
post #8 of 13
You can try to play workwers comp games etc all you want.

You are gonna lose.

If you are seeking roundabout solution to your problem, you ought to be self checking your motivations and using the energy to move on.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Good news. I was able to coax my employers to let me go without challanging my UC filing. Let's just say I knew enough dirt on them by now.

I'm collecting now and working on a restaurant opening in october(as opening/consulting chef). Hoorah.

Thanks for the wise words and advice.
post #10 of 13
Congrat's Shahar on your cool new job! I'm glad your ex-bosses didn't try to cheat or mess with you.
post #11 of 13

Decent Explination

So, you are begining to understand that management in restaurants is not the greatest. I would seriously consider having my own first aid kit. But, hopefully no one hurts him or her self serious enough to need it. However, cuts happen.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm cool w/my ex bosses.
I'm buying their furniture, and half their equipment!
post #13 of 13
!!!Alert to bad advice!!!: do not go into an emergency room and say it was workman's comp. There are forms to be filled out and sent in to the insuring agency. If the claim is never filed (or denied) it will eventually be sent to collections, and to your credit report. I've seen trouble like this from both ends, boss and worker, and no-one but the insurance agency was trying to cause problems!
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