Restaurant Industry

News & Analysis as of

Preparing Hospitality-Related Entities and Retailers for Hurricane Season

With that vivid memory and hurricane season in full swing, it’s imperative that businesses such as hotels, food service establishments, and retailers evaluate and discuss disaster planning preparedness, proper emergency...more

McCormick & Schmick’s to Pay $1.3 Million and Provide Significant Injunctive Relief to Resolve EEOC Class Race Discrimination Suit

Two Baltimore Restaurants Subjected Black Workers to Discrimination in Hiring and Work Assignments, Federal Agency Charged - BALTIMORE - McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants, Inc. and McCormick and Schmick...more

NLRB Forces Restaurant to Allow Posters Insinuating Germ-Infested Food - Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act Guarantees...

The Jimmy John's sandwich franchise must have been surprised to learn that it had violated federal labor law when its disciplined employees who had posted hundreds of signs around its outlets suggesting that its sandwiches...more

Blackstone and Booze: Wisconsin Court of Appeals Discusses Retroactivity of Judicial Decisions

On August 26, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals released Mixx Night Club v. Milwaukee, 13AP2599, an opinion analyzing the retroactivity of Wisconsin Supreme Court decisions. The case began with a rowdy nightclub in...more

The "Winner" and Other Losers: What "Winning" That Wage & Hour Suit Might Get You

Before the Labor Day holiday, I read on Twitter about the supposed “success” a restaurant had in defending its wage and hour practices at trial. I did a double-take. After reading the Southern District of New York’s opinion...more

Protected Concerted Activity on Facebook: The NLRB “Likes” This

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) continues to expand its interpretation of the forms of employee online behavior that constitute protected concerted activity under the National Labor Relations Act. Recently, in Three...more

Reading the NLRB Signs at the Triple Play Sports Bar

In Three D, LLC d/b/a Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille, 361 NLRB No. 31. (August 22, 2014), the National Labor Relations Board ruled that an employee “liking” a status on Facebook is engaging in protected concerted...more

Avoiding and Defending Florida License Tax Audits

Florida hotels and restaurants are facing license tax audits, assessments and penalties in increasing numbers. A "license" is statutorily defined as the granting of a privilege to use or occupy a building or real property....more

Another Real Lulu: Anatomy of an Affidavit

On Tuesday of this week, we discussed the trademark infringement case filed by Lulu’s Market & Deli against Lulu’s Public House (depicted above), here is a link to a pdf of the Complaint. As you will recall, we...more

California Supreme Court: Holding Franchisor Liable as Employer Depends on Level of Control Over Day-to-Day Employment Decisions

Patterson v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC, No. S204543 (August 28, 2014): On August 28, 2014, the California Supreme Court issued a decision holding that a franchisor that did not exhibit the characteristics of an “employer” was not...more

Organic Internet Growth: New .ORGANIC Domain Names Launch

If an organic standards body has approved you or your product, you are likely eligible to register an .organic domain name. Interested brand owners should apply as soon as possible and before the sunrise period closes on...more

Sal's Mexican Restaurant Settles EEOC Sexual Harassment Charge Involving a Teenager

FRESNO - Sal's Mexican Restaurant in Fresno, Calif., has settled a sexual harassment charge with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for $15,000, the federal agency announced today. The EEOC had charged...more

Wage and Hour Cases in the News

Several restaurant industry labor law cases could make considerable changes in how the industry manages workers. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), tipped employees are subject to hourly wages that are lower than the...more

Food, Folks, and Franchise-Wide Liability: NLRB Signals Intent to Pound Square Joint Employer Peg Into Round Franchise Hole

A big part of what makes the franchise model of business attractive to small business owners is the opportunity to own and operate their own business, but with their entrepreneurial risk backstopped by a known regional or...more

Update on Orozco v. Plackis: was franchisor’s principal the employer of franchisor’s employee? Fifth Circuit reverses – 3...

We reported in September 2013 about Orozco v. Plackis, a case out of the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas in which the plaintiff (a cook in a franchised restaurant) filed an action under the Fair...more

NLRB Moves Toward New Standard to Hold Franchisors Are Joint Employers of Their Franchisees' Employees

Over the last two years fast-food workers have engaged in walkouts and other activities protesting their wages and seeking an increase to $15/hr. Numerous unfair labor practice charges have been filed with the National Labor...more

The Potential Impact of the NLRB’s Position that McDonald’s and its Franchisees are “Joint Employers”

The National Labor Relations Board created a stir last week when it announced that it intends to hold McDonald’s USA responsible for its franchisees’ violations of employment law. The announcement has created concern and...more

Some Days, A Stay Is Easier to Obtain Than Others

In A&F Enterprises v. IHOP Franchising LLC, 742 F.3d 764 (Seventh Cir. 2014), Chapter 11 debtors appealed a determination that their building leases were deemed rejected because they were not timely assumed. Both the...more

Ninth Circuit Defines Vicarious Liability Standard Under the TCPA

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed a US District Court for the Central District of California decision dismissing a Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) claim. The Ninth Circuit agreed with...more

DOL Hits Restaurant for $800k for Illegal Tip Withholdings

The Department of Labor continued its roundup of restaurants supposedly skirting wage and hour laws, recently reaching a settlement with a Texas-based restaurant for $650k in back wages and $150k in penalties to be split...more

Managing Risk in an Inhospitable Environment: The Restaurant and Hospitality Industries are an Alluring Destination for Cyber...

The recent onslaught of cybersecurity incidents and payment card thefts dominate daily headlines and have captured the nation’s attention—from the diner whose credit card was compromised during a data breach to the President...more

NYC Restaurant Scene Extends to Newark In Concurrent Use Trademark Case

The matter of Terra Sul Corp. v. Boi Na Braza, Inc. involved a concurrent use proceeding between two restaurants over their nearly identical names. In theory, the scope of the conflict was nationwide, but in reality, as one...more

Old Fashioned Protected Concerted Activity Stirred Up With A Twist

A recent NLRB ALJ decision illustrates the old and the new under the National Labor Relations Act (“Act”). The case is Gates & Sons Barbeque of Missouri, Inc. and Workers’ Organizing Committee, Kansas City, No. 14-CA-110229...more

Restaurants And Other Employers With "Food Handlers" Required To Complete Food Handling Training No Later Than July 1, 2014

The Illinois Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act (Act) provides that “food handlers” (both in restaurants and non-restaurants) must complete “food handling” training no later than July 1, 2014. After July 1, 2014,...more

"Summertime and the Livin' Is Easy" Tips to Make Sure "Tips" Don’t Create Problems Down the Road

Summertime can be the high season for many service establishments, such as restaurants, hotels and recreational facilities, as we all take some time to relax and enjoy the weather. But with wage and hour litigation constantly...more

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