I am an ex-employee from the Ciocolat cafe. Wow, you sure hit the nail on the head with Monday’s article! What a terrible place to work. But one thing the employee failed to tell you about was the constant gas leak there.
I, personally, along with many other employees, including one who was pregnant, got sick from gas leaks there. The first leak was in the basement, which was so bad they had to shut the kitchen down because there were open flames upstairs above the gas leak. That was fixed by a rinkey-dink handyman who didn’t know what he was doing. We were told either we had the flu or to open windows or doors when it got bad.
PG&E came to the restaurant to fix a second leak and found it to be coming from the heater outside. It was pumping out 1,500 parts per million of CO2 straight into the kitchen, parking lot and dining area! But I was let go shortly after that because they thought I called PG&E. I did complain about it all the time and at one point refused to come to work because I was afraid of getting brain damage.
Also, I was injured on the job in August and had to go to the ER for stitches. I was opening a window and my whole hand went through the old glass and I cut my wrist. The window is still broken upstairs. I had to wait half an hour for an owner to come and relieve me of my kitchen duty so I could go to the ER. Once I was there I was told the owners, Kate and Tony, would not provide proof of worker’s compensation. I was out for five days with no pay due to my injuries.
When I returned to work I returned to a hostile work environment. Tony pulled me aside and said they would not be reporting my injury to workman’s comp and they would be paying out of pocket. Over the next few months I kept receiving harassing phone calls and letters from Sutter Davis Hospital emergency room saying the bill was never paid. I’ve been laid off for a month now and I was informed yesterday that the bill was to be sent to collections in 30 days because neither Tony nor Kate could be reached to pay the bill.
I just wanted to add to what was written. Thank you for finally shining some light on that horrible place!