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The Cost of Staying Open? $27,470—and Then Some 

OHSA levies $27K+ fine against Kevista Coffee for alleged "willful violation" of workplace health requirements

Oregon Occupational Safety and Health, the agency tasked with enforcing the state's workplace safety and health rules, has issued a $27,470 fine against a Bend coffee shop, alleging that it violated standards put in place to protect employees from COVID-19. OSHA announced March 30 that Kevista Coffee, located along Century Drive on Bend's west side, "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."

According to OHSA, Kevista Coffee—legally known as Laui Life Coffee LLC—began allowing indoor dining on Dec. 3, 2020, and thereafter, during a time when Deschutes County was placed in the "Extreme Risk," category under Gov. Kate Brown's risk protection framework—a category that meant indoor dining was prohibited in order to help slow the spread of COVID-19. OSHA representatives conducted an inspection of the property, the agency said, finding three alleged violations of OHSA's temporary rules designed to address COVID-19 risks in the workplace. For the alleged "willful violation" in allowing indoor dining, OHSA levied a fine of $26,700 against the coffee shop. That is three times the minimum penalty allowed for such violations, OSHA representatives stated in a press release.

OHSA fined Bend's Kevista Coffee twice for alleged violations of COVID-era rules. - NICOLE VULCAN
  • Nicole Vulcan
  • OHSA fined Bend's Kevista Coffee twice for alleged violations of COVID-era rules.

"The decision reflects the need to ensure a more appropriate deterrent effect where employers insist on disregarding health and safety standards," OSHA stated.

OHSA issued another $385 fine for the company's alleged failure to "develop and implement an infection control plan," covering items such as planning for physical distancing or reducing the use of shared surfaces; and issued another $385 fine after the company allegedly failed to conduct any COVID-19 risk assessment to identify potential employee exposure to the virus and address how to reduce that exposure.

"During the inspection, the owners of Kevista—Krista and Kevin Lauinger—said they chose to re-open the coffee shop even though they were aware that it went against workplace health requirements," OSHA stated.

The current fines against Kevista are the second round of fines the business has faced due to COVID-19. OSHA issued a $8,900 fine against the business in July 2020 for allegedly "failing to implement face coverings in line with sector-specific guidance for restaurants and bars."

The Source Weekly reached out to Kevista's owners for comment but did not receive a response by press time. Its owners have 30 days to appeal any citations issued.

About The Author

Nicole Vulcan

Nicole Vulcan has been editor of the Source since 2016. While the pandemic reduced "hobbies" to "aspirations," you can mostly find her raising chickens, walking dogs, riding all the bikes and attempting to turn a high desert scrap of land into a permaculture oasis. (Progress: slow.)
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