Pico-Robertson’s Ethics Commission Sharpens Its Focus

Here’s the original plan.

I haven’t seen anyone sporting these ethics certifications.

Now the rabbis are struggling with auditing. If businesses want to do stuff off the books, the rabbis won’t be able to audit that. How will they find out if an employer offers an employee cash off the books to work overtime at a regular wage? Employees in Pico-Robertson want overtime hours and will work it even if they don’t get paid extra per hour.

Let’s say you hire a caterer for Beth Jacob for $5000 cash. And the caterer pays his employees in cash off-the-books. The rabbis and their auditors won’t be able to find that on the books of the caterer.

Now let’s say the state busts the caterer for some reason and the caterer has one of these ethics certificates, the rabbis will look bad.

The rabbis will write-up a covenant for business ethics and sign on to it. The businesses CPAs will sign off that he has no knowledge of any violations. Employees will be educated about their rights and their responsibilities and the whole thing will become self-certifying.

The challenge is finding the kind of ethics certificate that the rabbis can give out that does not expose them to looking like idiots.

If an employee wants to work eight hours on the books and two hours off the books for cash, the rabbis won’t be able to police it. Sure, it is cheating on California law and on taxes but that’s the way business works. If the rabbis attempt to certify things and then there’s a government investigation revealing unkosher stuff, the rabbis will look stupid putting their certification on businesses busted by the state.

Pat’s, traditionally the best kosher restaurant in town, once got a B from the CA Health Deparment. Why did they get a B? Because the automatic fly screen at the back of the restaurant? The spring had broken. So even though they were closing it manually, they were considered in violation. The temperature of the hot water was one degree below the threshhold required for hot water.

One nursing home got in trouble because they had a can of apricots where the label had been removed from the can. That’s a violation and for that sort of stuff, liberal rabbis sign a two-page ad in the Jewish Journal to try to push an establishment to employ only union labor.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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