A Brooklyn tortilla factory owner’s arrest highlights the danger facing all employees. After a fatal accident sparked an investigation by OSHA and other authorities, it was discovered the factory owner was committing daily violations against employee rights.
Erasmo Ponce is the owner of the Tortilleria Chinanttla factory in Brooklyn and is now out on bail when authorities discovered he was running his factory without workers compensation insurance. Unfortunately, Ponce didn’t learn his lesson after the worker’s death caused by a fall into a giant mixing machine which crushed him to death because an investigation revealed Ponce failed to secure the machine after the accident putting other employees at risk for injuries or additional fatalities.
The investigations into the operation of the factory also revealed that Ponce was underpaying his workers. Essentially it appears Ponce was putting everyone on the job at risk and wasn’t even paying workers fairly. It was discovered Ponce failed to pay out compensation for employee overtime. Family members of the worker who was killed said Ponce ‘didn’t act like his death was important, like it mattered to him.’
Small businesses do face a lot of financial strain, especially in the current economy. As a result, owners will often make cuts in important places including insurance coverage, safety equipment, training, and other aspects of business. It is only when an incident occurs on the job are authorities and even employees alerted to the violations and the safety risks in the workplace.
If you are aware of safety violations and other budgetary cuts that affect employee safety, you know you are at risk. If you are injured due to an employer’s neglect of safety issues, you must protect your rights. Consult with one of our experienced attorneys who can provide the guidance you need to win your right to compensation.
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