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Posts from May 2011.

As many of you are aware, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals gave Northwest restaurant owners much to cheer about early last year when it authorized Northwest restaurants to initiate mandatory tip pools including back-of-house employees who traditionally do not receive tips. A complete description of the Court's decision in Woody Woo and its immediate effects can be found in my blog post from last November.

The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has released its long anticipated draft regulations about menu labeling, which describe how the agency intends to enforce Section 4205 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, signed into law by President Obama just over a year ago. The FDA is accepting comments from the public on the proposed regulations until June 6, 2011. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) provides tips about how to comment here (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

Employment Law specialist, Mike Brunet, details a growing trend and how it will impact the Seattle-area hospitality industry.

This week’s topic may appear limited in scope, but is representative of a national and local trend. On April 25, 2011, the Seattle City Council unanimously passed an amendment to the City of Seattle’s municipal code to define and punish “wage theft,” the practice of improperly withholding amounts owed to employees. Seattle thus joins a growing number of jurisdictions, including Miami-Dade County, FL, and the cities of Austin, TX, Denver, CO, Kansas City, KS, and San Francisco, CA in having a specific law in place to combat wage theft. A number of legislators in cities, counties, and states around the nation are considering pending bills that would add to this list. Although the goals of Seattle’s Wage Theft Ordinance may be laudable, the scope of the bill could cause well-meaning employers, including hoteliers and restaurateurs, to unintentionally run afoul of it.

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Greg Duff, Editor
Greg Duff founded and chairs GSB’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.

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