Restaurant Industry

News & Analysis as of

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

Genetically engineered food labelling bill moves through legislature

SB 1381, California's revived genetically engineered food labelling bill, has passed through the California Senate Judiciary Committee. If enacted, SB 1381 would take effect on January 1 2016. As the bill has moved through...more

Restaurant Industry Alert - Fast Food Strikes Announced For Global Workforce

Executive Summary: In an attempt to draw attention to their ongoing efforts to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, union organizers have announced another walkout/strike for May 15th....more

Springdale Pizza: Eleven Decisions on Disclosure, Rescission and Damages (and Counting)

Essential Facts - The plaintiffs purchased a franchise from an existing franchisee in October 2008 for $220,000. The plaintiffs began operating the franchise before signing various agreements with the franchisor in...more

The 20% Rule For Tips Is Back In The News

We’ve covered tips and tip credits at length in the past, and I could probably blog all day, every day just to keep up with the volume of tip-related cases and actions that are filed nationwide, some high profile and others...more

Take 5 Newsletter: Five Hot Topics in Hospitality Law

ACA Final Regulations Provide Rules for Seasonal Employees - On February 10, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") promulgated final regulations for the ACA's employer "shared responsibility provisions" in IRS...more

Employment Newsletter - April 2014: Tips, Tip Pooling and Service Charges: Developments & Guidelines

Mandatory service charges and their distribution among waitstaff have plagued the Hospitality industry for years. Federal courts interpret federal laws differently, and states have enacted their own statutes that keep...more

Confusing Expiration Labels Cost Texas Restaurants

All restaurants have to deal with the issue of throwing away food at the end of the day. According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a powerful environmental action group and the Harvard Food Law and Policy...more

Airport Restaurant Service Provider Seeks to Ground Hijacked URL

OTG Management, LLC (“OTG”), seeks to enjoin unnamed defendants from anonymously continuing “a misleading uniform resource locator (“URL”) and corresponding email services,” posing as an OTG employee and using OTG service...more

All Press Is Good Press For Texas Restaurants

Some of you may have heard the latest uproar caused by Pizza Patrón. Known for its undaunted ability to generate press from clever, edgy marketing campaigns, Pizza Patrón’s latest endeavor was to name a pizza, La Chingona....more

South By Southwest Deaths Highlight Alcohol Issues For Texas Restaurants

Three people are now confirmed dead in the recent car crash tragedy at South By Southwest. According to an article by Quita Culpepper from KVUE.com, these people were “injured on Thursday, March 13 outside The Mohawk when...more

Expanding Smart: Is Franchising Right For Your Restaurant Concept?

The franchise model can offer restaurateurs plenty of upside, which is precisely why franchise restaurants blanket the country. As growth vehicles go, however, franchising works better for some concepts than for others. Is...more

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