Collaborative efforts between the Department of Health and New York City Council will alter the city's restaurant fine system. Five bills are expected to be introduced this week, and they're expected to reduce fines by $10 million annually.
The new bills will reportedly "reduce fines to the level collected before the introduction of the letter grading system." Specifically, violations issued regularly will be reduced by 15 to 20 percent and a minimum $200 fine will be assigned to 60 percent of all violations. Here's how the fines will be reworked:
General Violations and low-severity Critical Violations—not properly storing sanitized utensils, flies in a food prep area, etc.—reduced 21.9% to 42.5%
High level Critical Violaions—workers without hair covers, workers eating in food storage areas—reduced 13.9% to 16.7%Serious violations—failing to properly cool a food item, etc.—reduced by 22.8%
"Fundamental program integrity and operation" violations—obstructing an inspection, failing to post a current grade card, etc.—set at $1,000
Furthermore, any restaurants who received less than a 14 on a first inspection will have fines waived. Any restaurants presenting proof that violations for their structural issues were not given out during prior inspections will not be fined, but will be ordered to fix the problems.