OLYMPIA – Three southwest Washington restaurants still owe the state $1.69 million in fines levied against them for violating the Governor’s indoor dining restrictions over the past year. Although the owners of Spiffy’s Restaurant & Bakery, Farm Boy Drive-In Restaurant and Stuffy’s II Restaurant have all appealed the fines, the appellate process has not yet begun. The State Attorney General has been asked to provide guidance on how best to proceed with a resolution expected in the coming weeks.
State Department of Labor & Industries spokeswoman Dina Lorraine says Spiffy’s has been fined $400,419, Farm Boy $338,909 and Stuffy’s, located in Longview has the largest fine in the state at $954,000.
The Governor had singled out restaurants restricting them to take out only, citing concerns for spreading coronavirus.
Lorraine admitted that the restrictions they were asked to enforce were a first for the state agency regarding the protections of employees and others from a virus. Lorraine could not confirm documentation of any employee or customer of the restaurants that were fined, coming down with an illness or coronavirus infection.
Lorraine said the state and local employers have learned that “we need to have rules and regulations in place for pandemic-type illnesses and now have better rules in place and education on what can happen in a pandemic.” On whether the state will move forward on collecting the fines from the restaurant owners, L&I expects a resolution in the coming few weeks.