Legal News in the Restaurant Industry

Some recent news in the restaurant industry is that the National Restaurant Association has taken a big step toward protecting the industry.

Over the years, well-funded special interest groups have lobbied for laws and regulations that have ended up burdening the restaurant industry with over-regulation.

Restaurant Legal Center

In January 2017, the National Restaurant Association launched the Restaurant Law Center (RLC), which gives the industry a voice in the legal system that can help protect restaurateurs.

RLC Chairman, Jay Stieber points out: “Restaurants are America’s job training ground and one of the few careers that don’t require a four-year college degree to achieve the American Dream. But restaurants continue to be threatened by overregulation on the local, state and federal levels, and by activist judges with little to no understanding of how our industry works.”

The RLC gives the National Restaurant Association a means of fighting back against unreasonable legal actions and is also a way to promote laws and regulations that can help the industry create more jobs and grow the nation’s economy.

Oregon Restaurant and Lodging, et al v. Perez, et al

The RLC managed the case Oregon Restaurant and Lodging et al v. Perez, et al, which went to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Law 360 ranked this as a top case to watch for the restaurant industry because it challenged the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on bars and restaurants that do not take tip credits and whether they can set up tip pools that require tipped employees to share tips with staff that generally do not receive tips.

The key question for the appellate court to determine was whether the DOL had the authority to regulate tip-pooling practices of employers who do not take a tip credit and whether its regulation violated the FLSA. It found in favor of tipped employees that for restaurants not taking tip credits tips, the tips belonged to tipped employees unless otherwise agreed between the employee and employer.

The executive director of the RLC is appealing the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Stephen Hans & Associates assists small and medium sized business owners with employment related concerns.

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