SEVERE WX : Red Flag Warning - Heat Advisory View Alerts

Two Florence restaurants fined thousands for alleged COVID-19 violations

OSHA has fined Little Brown Hen $17,800 and The Firehouse Restaurant $18,150 for willful violations of the state's public health measures.

Posted: Feb 24, 2021 12:31 PM
Updated: Feb 24, 2021 12:48 PM

FLORENCE, Ore. — A pair of restaurants in the coastal city of Florence face staggering fines from Oregon OSHA for "willful" violations of the state's coronavirus guidelines while Lane County was under "Extreme Risk" restrictions.

The Little Brown Hen Cafe faces a fine of $17,800. OSHA sent inspectors to the location after multiple complaints that the restaurant was continuing to allow indoor dining beginning around the end of December.

When inspectors visited the restaurant on January 4, OSHA said that they were met by a group of people standing outside the entrance, "one of whom carried a firearm." The inspectors were threatened and told to leave.

"The officers politely left. As the officers walked to their cars, the people outside the entrance followed them," OSHA said. "The people shouted at the officers as the officers left the parking lot."

OSHA administrator Michael Wood hit the restaurant with a $17,800 penalty — twice the minimum for a willful violation — as a deterrent for employers who "insist on disregarding public health measures," putting employees at risk and giving the employer an advantage over compliant businesses.

“Most employers are choosing to do the right thing,” Wood said, “even as they face very real economic hardships. As for those relatively few employers who are working against our shared project to defeat this disease, we will continue our enforcement work in the interest of accountability.”

Around the same time as the Little Brown Hen investigation, OSHA received complaints about The Firehouse Restaurant. Inspectors conducted interviews over the phone because of social media posts showing the "potential for armed people to block access to the business."

"Moreover, the investigation showed that some extremist groups were encouraging people to engage in violence against Oregon OSHA compliance officers if they visited the site," the agency said.

Wood also imposed a $17,800 fine on The Firehouse for the apparent willful violation, but added two smaller penalties because the owners did not develop an infection control plan or COVID-19 risk assessment — bringing the total fine to $18,150.

"The inspection of The Firehouse Restaurant found the business committing the violations on or about Dec. 26 and continuing to do so afterward. The inspection included an interview with Kylie McKenzie, manager of the restaurant," OSHA said. "McKenzie said she originally closed the business to the public, but later decided to re-open it, even though she was aware the decision went against measures to prevent the spread of the disease in an extreme-risk county."

Employers have 30 days to appeal the citations from OSHA.

Lane County is set to step down from Extreme to High Risk on Friday.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 219755

Reported Deaths: 2858
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah41855618
Washington27838258
Marion24509333
Clackamas19964242
Lane14885174
Jackson12709156
Deschutes1056587
Umatilla958794
Linn627782
Yamhill507481
Klamath494479
Douglas451888
Polk431457
Josephine416975
Malheur366667
Benton347422
Jefferson249942
Coos231939
Columbia208732
Union169424
Wasco156131
Lincoln154422
Crook139924
Hood River126734
Morrow122917
Clatsop117610
Baker111517
Curry79112
Tillamook7605
Grant5637
Lake4868
Harney46011
Wallowa2396
Gilliam871
Sherman872
Wheeler441
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3966943

Reported Deaths: 64429
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles130334324691
Riverside3085464662
San Bernardino3067695240
San Diego2980023798
Orange2824265144
Santa Clara1234042099
Sacramento1157321781
Kern1132161425
Fresno1046391746
Alameda971211286
Ventura838691044
Contra Costa77708834
San Joaquin769151460
Stanislaus658931095
Tulare50409854
San Mateo44622588
Monterey44523528
San Francisco40544563
Solano36004263
Santa Barbara35741467
Merced33321485
Sonoma32880330
Imperial29164745
Placer25146307
Kings23765251
San Luis Obispo21970265
Madera17058249
Santa Cruz16616207
Marin14958239
Yolo14863215
Butte13235205
Shasta13043242
El Dorado11125120
Napa1044282
Sutter10203127
Yuba700450
San Benito628263
Tehama589266
Lassen588826
Nevada541675
Humboldt511453
Mendocino471052
Tuolumne453573
Lake423866
Amador387748
Siskiyou256640
Glenn246527
Colusa235718
Calaveras231658
Del Norte16688
Inyo147338
Mono13265
Plumas7726
Modoc5767
Mariposa5007
Trinity4676
Sierra1310
Alpine890
Unassigned660
Medford
Clear
88° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 86°
Brookings
Partly Cloudy
54° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 54°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
88° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 86°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
88° wxIcon
Hi: 102° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 86°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
85° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 82°
Drier, but still hot, on Monday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events

Latest Video

Image

Medford officially had the hottest July on record

Image

Monday, August 3rd Afternoon Weather

Image

Health Watch: Sports Physicals

Image

Monday, August 2 morning weather

Image

Sunday, August 1st Weather

Image

Sunday, August 1st Weather

Image

Dick Fosbury and the 'Fosbury Flop'

Image

Saturday, July 31st Weather

Image

Health experts' covid vaccine recommendations for pregnant women

Image

Umpqua Bank Robbery Investigation