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Oregon OSHA fines Bend, Redmond Black Bear Diners more than $35,000

Like Kevista, others, accused of violating COVID-19 workplace protections

SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Oregon OSHA announced Monday it has fined two Black Bear Diner locations, in Bend and Redmond, more than $35,000 for violating standards designed to protect employees from the coronavirus disease.

Both sites, under the same ownership, willfully continued to potentially expose workers to the virus, despite a public health order limiting the capacity of indoor dining to zero in an “Extreme Risk” county, the agency said.

The citations, totaling $35,600 in fines, resulted from inspections launched in response to multiple complaints about the restaurants on Northeast Third Street in Bend and on West Cedar Avenue in Redmond.

The inspections found each site – operating under the legal name Bucc’N Dulge Inc. – willfully allowing indoor dining beginning on or around Jan. 13 and continuing through Feb. 11. During that time, Deschutes County was designated an “Extreme Risk” for transmission of the disease.

During an interview, the owner of the restaurants, Kathy DeGree, said she was aware that indoor dining was not allowed in Deschutes County during that time, OSHA reported.

It's the state's largest pandemic-related fine issued against any restaurant, topping the $27,470 fine levied late last month against Kevista Coffee in Bend, which is appealing the penalty, the second assessed against the business.

There have been several other similar penalties assessed in recent weeks. Oregon OSHA also fined Twisted River Saloon in Springfield $18,430 on Monday for similar "willful violations." in an "Extreme Risk" county.

As for Black Bear Diner, OSHA said the inspections documented a total of four violations of workplace health and safety standards at both restaurants. As a result, the following citations were issued:

  • In allowing indoor dining at both Black Bear Diner sites, the owner knowingly chose to disregard capacity limitations imposed by the Oregon Health Authority for such establishments in a county that was designated as extreme risk. Each restaurant was cited for a willful violation, carrying a penalty of $17,800, under Oregon OSHA’s temporary rule addressing COVID-19 risks in the workplace.
  • The owner failed to establish and maintain a safety committee for the restaurants. Safety committees enable workers to regularly participate in addressing potential on-the-job hazards, including discussing such issues with managers. The other-than-serious violation was cited at each location.  

Using his discretionary authority under state law, Oregon OSHA Administrator Michael Wood imposed a $17,800 penalty for each of the willful violations. That is twice the minimum penalty for such a violation.

"The decision reflects the need to ensure a more appropriate deterrent effect where employers insist on disregarding public health measures," OSHA's news release stated.

"Such willful behavior puts employees at risk and enables the employer to achieve a competitive advantage over businesses that comply with workplace health and safety standards," the agency added

Wood said, “Most employers continue to follow worker health and safety standards as part of our ongoing work to defeat this disease. And we continue to make progress.”

“Unfortunately, some employers are choosing to defy standards and to put their workers at risk. As a result, we will continue to bring our enforcement tools to bear where appropriate,” he said.

Ongoing refusals to correct violations and come into compliance with workplace health and safety standards can lead to additional higher penalties.

Meanwhile, if an Oregon OSHA inspection documents violations while a county is at extreme risk, but the county’s risk level drops before the citation is issued, the citation will still be issued. The change in risk levels may affect how the violation needs to be corrected, but not whether it is cited.

Employers have 30 days to appeal citations.

In addition to its enforcement activities, Oregon OSHA offers employers and workers a variety of consultation, information, and education resources addressing COVID-19.

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Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, enforces the state’s workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. For more information, visit osha.oregon.gov.

The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon’s largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, go to www.dcbs.oregon.gov.

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Comments

71 Comments

  1. This place is outdated and gross. The owners are disgusting and the people who eat there do not care at all about their health. Central Oregon would be so much better if this business closed tomorrow and never re-opened. Gross.

              1. 1) Please feel free not to utilize stem cell line derived therapies. 2) Nope. Aborted cluster of cells, NOT a baby. Hard to murder something that’s never breathed or even developed lungs. 3) You do realize that these cell lines are probably older than you, right?

              2. Every one of the vaccines was developed with the use of embryonic stem cells. There is a group of doctors that don’t think they should be called “vaccines” but rather “biologic agents” because their development has been unlike any other prior vaccines.

    1. @glutenghost – your idea of high-caliber food is Taco Bell so what are you complaining about, other than the gas and trips to your portajohn? Are you fitting in on Hunnel road okay or is it spooky at night? But hey, No worries, Creepy China Joe Obiden will fix everything!!!!!

      1. More whining!!! Too funny! She can afford the fines. Why else she would be openly violating the rules. Probably loves bentz for voting against the 29 BILLION dollar restaraunt relief bill. ROTFLMAO!!!! Soooooooooo much whining and losing for all hillbilly trump borg!!!

    2. re:glutenghost.. thats your opinion.. I’ve been there lots of times.. it is great food and a clasic place. I really enjoy their service and food.. its a comfy place.

    3. You must frequent the place often to know, as you are outdated, degusting, gross, and I venture to guess sticky also. My guess is you keep going there, complain about the food, the Manager comps you then you show back up at the place two weeks later for another free meal, ya, you seem like that, type. Have another gluten free tasteless muffin, Don’t choke on it.
      I very rarely dine at the establishment, but I sure dislike anyone like you, who gets their kicks, and jollies off of kicking any COVID struggling business, when they are down.

      By the way gluten is needed for normal brain activity. You are obviously, AB normal.

  2. And JUST LIKE KEVISTA Kathy Degree owns a million-dollar estate on the butte while theyre all whining about kate turd browns oppression etc… what sad examples of “free patriots” who just increse deaths and sickness for fellow oregon families, only to pad their already huge bottom lines

    1. Did they increase death or sickness?
      Please provide any covid related death or sickness linked to the black bear diners. COVID IS NOT THE PLAGUE.

        1. And what is the mortality rate of all covid cases? Science says its not as bad as you chicken Littles are making it out to be. Here is a realization for you. YOU ARE GOING TO DIE, everyone is, it’s part of life. Keep wasting g all your time trying to prevent getting covid only to die in a car crash next week. I feel bad for you that you have to live your life in such fear.

    2. Funny coming from one who praises all the BLM Antifa terrorist gatherings. Amzing how the virus knows who to infect and who not to infect. Or maybe the germs all killed by the fires and molotov cocktails your comrades are throwing

    3. re:anonymousktvz.. you mean great examples of patriots.. Its their Right to own and oporate a business.. whos going to pay their electric /water sewer gas bills? who’s going to pay their vendors? who is going to pay their employees? who is going to pay their mortgage for their businesss? who is going to pay their lease of they lease the building.. Like kivasta? the government sure isnt’.. that stuff I mentioned never stops even when a “pandemic is happening. they where taking all the necessary precautions.. so who’s to say they where wrong.. whats the difference between now and then? any proof of that difference? I can type a bunch of numbers as well.. that doesn’t mean anything though.. its.. B.s. if all the business’s stood up and opened up.. osha couldnt do s#@! enough of them are sheep and following government orders. that osha can come in and slap huge fines.. that’s what dicatorship looks like my friend.

      1. If they are having so much trouble making it work and following the rules, like kevista, time to sell the estate and use that cool million to keep the business afloat… that is if they care more about capitalism more than their bend image (you’ll notice most places arent having these difficulties with basic health code violations)

    1. I disagree, my experience eating there was in no way as you describe. They have a much better system than any grocery store I’ve been to in the last year. Also, obviously the employees didn’t have to go back to work. BTW, what was you experience like to make such strong accusations? How many deaths, hospitalizations, or cases resulted from them opening?

        1. You missed the point, as usual. As it applys to “safety” Black Bear has been doing a great job as compared to any other business like grocery stores.

    2. Actually we all should be dining there to show our support of a business that is trying to succeed during this fake panic. I would suspect that all of their employees are there by choice and, believe it or not, are aware of any supposed risk.

    1. For starters, most people aren’t worried about the virus. Just like the cold, flu, and allergies, it is an inconvenience, not a death sentence like the drive by media will have you believe.

      Second, not everyone wants to buy a $12 bowl of rabbit food from Laughing Planet. Nor a $6 beer with a $10 burger at Deschutes Brewery just like all of the other exact same micro brew joints in town. I crack up when I hear people complain about places like Chik-fil-A because it is so unhealthy for you, but someone can guzzle gross hoppy beer with the same type of food and it is just dandy.

      1. For starters, you have no clue what you are talking about! your myopic view of the world is really sad! you are lucky that your family has not lost a loved one from the virus like mine has. Be grateful but don’t be stupid! The vast majority of people are taking this as serious as it is. unfortunately there are many fools like yourself who are keeping the economy shut and the virus spreading by not believing and ignoring science!

        1. My family has lost someone from heart disease, kidney failure, cancer, car accident, and the flu. Whats so special about a loss to covid? Was it the only reason for death? was there underlying conditions? Face facts. everyone will die. there is no cure. there is no time limits. You could die typing a response to this post, or walking out to your tricycle.

            1. Who is “they”? As a Black Bear customer and somebody who pays attention to local covid numbers there has not been any outbreak traced Black Bear that I’m aware of. Please examine, provide so e info please.

    2. We are still waiting for your restaurant’s name that pays a “living wage” is affordable, serves the best food, and is healthy. You and the other progressives know so much about running businesses one would think you would be proud to invite us all in.

      1. Well costco is unionized with good wages and hours, also has some of the best pizza in the state (it says as much about oregon as it does about costco LOL)

        1. Costco had a outbreak of 150 employees in WA and never shut down for a minute. Where is your pitchfork and demands that they be fined and sell their business….blah blah blah.

    3. re: never a trumper.. your opinion.. not those who chose to go support them.. the food is great… better food, portions and service then sherries or .. ihop. if you don’t like it don’t go.. no need to complain.

  3. I for one really appreciated the fact that someone stood up to this tyranny. It is not fair that big business continues as normal but all the diners and small businesses suffer. This whole pandemic cost everyone, however the ones who had the most to loose did. I wish every diner had opened up.

    1. Your money is going straight to the inflated mortgage of an awbrey butte mansion, not helping anyone… you are part of the problem sadly

      1. And when that inflated mortgage owner has extra.money they hire people to do things. Landscaping, new buildings, home maintenance and then they give the money back. Funny how that works.

  4. I walked by the Bend store several times a week this Winter, and would just scratch my head and say to myself ‘what do these people know that I don’t?’

  5. You got that right, and in the meantime customers are packed in like sardines at Newport market like there is no Covid and zero protectection for employees as there no plexiglass protection at check outs.

  6. I will support the Black Bear whenever I can. If you don’t like it, don’t go there. I don’t care for all the yuppie places so I don’t go there, but I don’t scream they should be closed down. It’s called ‘get a life.’

  7. Reading through some pretty sorry comments here, once again highlights the massive difference between angry hateful liberals and patient rational logical conservatives… Libs demand everything always be shut down- that nothing should be developed or built- that punishment and revenge rule the roost. Conservatives clearly want government out of their lives- to build- develop- create- let the citizens decide what is acceptable and what is not- the free market always speaks the truth. Kate Brown will absolutely go down in history (along with the whole of the Demokrat party) as the worst Governor this state has ever had to stomach… the die is cast… history will mock her incompetence… “And from The University of Kentucky… the Portland Trailblazers select Sam Bowie” !!! Yep… “THAT BAD” !

    1. I’m pretty tired of reading sorry comments like yours too. Ignorant to the extreme. You think you can group every liberal minded individual into the same category, fact is there are extremists on both sides. I vote democratic, and I also believe this coronavirus garbage has outlived its usefulness. How shameful for the state to levy fines against a business when people are just trying to survive. Most healthy people don’t even show symptoms of Covid-19 if they get it. So all this crap going on is primarily to protect the old and sick, those who drag society down anyway. The earth has its ways of controlling population, but we believe we arent subject to that, that we’re smart enough to beat it. I say let Covid do it’s thing so we can get back to normal life. This crap is going to happen and that’s just life. So you can take your beliefs and comments about liberals and shove it where the sun don’t shine. The extremists are the problem, and conservatives have them too…hence Jan.6th, 2021, the rest of us actually get along pretty well.

  8. Pretty shameful OSHA…levying fines against people trying to survive. If you don’t want to catch Covid than stay home. Anyone who knows anything about viruses knows a mask or 6 ft rule won’t stop it, Clearly not with the continued spread. Your taking a risk walking into a restaurant mask or not. Once again the extreme ends of political beliefs screwing with those trying to stay above water.

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