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News & Analysis as of

Food and Beverage Law Update: January 2016

Key Issues Facing Food Retailers - Compliance and Cybersecurity: Consero Group surveyed the general counsel of Fortune 1,000 companies in June 2015 and learned that 60 percent still lack the proper preparation for a...more

Chebotnikov v. LimoLink, Inc.: a Cautionary Tale Concerning the Use of Forum-Selection Clauses

At the end of last year, a federal court in Massachusetts found that a forum selection clause in an Iowa company’s standard form service-provider agreement did not apply to claims asserted under the Fair Labor Standards Act...more

New York Adopts Tipped Worker and Fast Food Worker Minimum Wage Regulations

As we reported previously, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) proposed a series of new regulations earlier this year. These proposals included new regulations raising the minimum wage and reducing the maximum...more

UPDATE: Employee Tip Pooling – Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You!

We have talked with you in the past about the risks of allowing employees to pool or share tips. This is a pretty common practice in the food service industry, but there can be concerns because of the complexity of compliance...more

Minimum Wage To Increase For Many In 2016

A number of states and local jurisdictions will raise their minimum wage in 2016; here is the latest information on what to expect in the new year....more

Minimum Wage To Increase For MA Hourly and Tipped Workers

Starting January 1, 2016, the minimum wage in Massachusetts will be $10.00 per hour. Before Governor Deval Patrick left office, he signed into law an increase in the state minimum wage in three successive annual increments...more

A Legal Tipping Point – Are No-Tip Policies the Wave of the Future?

In this country, there are thousands of employees who earn their living off tips or gratuities they receive from customers. Over the last several years, there has been a movement afoot, particularly in the restaurant...more

Tip Pooling Tax Implications—What Employers Need to Know

The sharing of tips is referred to as “tip pooling,” “tip splitting,” or “tip sharing.” For purposes of this discussion, we will refer to the sharing of tips as tip pooling. Tip pooling occurs generally in two forms....more

Hospitality, Food and Beverage Industry Newsletter

We are pleased to share the first edition of our Hospitality, Food and Beverage Industry Newsletter with you. This Newsletter addresses important recent legal developments affecting the hospitality and restaurant industry and...more

Food and Beverage Law Update: October 2015

Labor and Employment - Plaintiff Wage and Hour Lawsuits Continue to Climb - Wage and hour litigation has become what some call the new "workplace revolution." Data from the Federal Judicial Center indicates that...more

Tip-Toeing Around Class Actions: Can a “No Tipping” Policy End Wage and Hour Litigation in the Hospitality Industry?

Joining a budding national trend, renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer of Union Square Hospitality Group last week announced that he will eliminate formal tipping at his restaurants starting in 2016. Meyer stated that the new...more

Nevada’s Recent Minimum Wage Ruling and Best Practices for Employers

Nevada’s minimum wage law continues to be a minefield for employers. On August 14, 2015, in the case of Hancock v. the State of Nevada, the First Judicial District Court held two, key minimum wage regulations as...more

DOL Announces Increase in Minimum Wage Rate for Federal Contractors

The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that the minimum wage for certain federal contracts will increase to $10.15 per hour beginning January 1, 2016. Additionally, the minimum cash wage that generally must be paid to...more

City of Birmingham Raises Minimum Wage, Establishes Severe Employer Penalties in Aggressive Wage and Hour Ordinance

On August 18, 2015, the Birmingham, Alabama, City Council passed an aggressive wage and hour ordinance that raises the minimum wage to $10.10 by July 1, 2017. Presently, the minimum hourly wage in Alabama is $7.25, which is...more

2016 "Contractor Minimum Wage" Rate Released

The U.S. Labor Department has published the 2016 wage-rate floor required by President Obama's "Establishing A Minimum Wage for Contractors" Executive Order 13658. The Order has been implemented through regulations appearing...more

Federal Contractor Minimum Wage to Increase

As we blogged last year, the President’s Executive Order establishing a minimum wage for certain federal contractor employees requires that the minimum wage be adjusted on an annual basis. In the September 16, 2015 Federal...more

Litigating California Wage & Hour and Labor Code Class Actions

We are excited to announce the 15th edition of Seyfarth Shaw’s publication Litigating California Wage & Hour and Labor Code Class Actions. As in previous editions, the publication discusses and analyzes the most commonly...more

Fifth Circuit Tips Its Hand as to Analysis of FLSA’s Tip Credit

Restaurants throughout the Fifth Circuit, and even beyond, should review the recent decision of Montano v. Montrose Restaurant, which discusses the often tricky and always fact-intensive question of whether a restaurant...more

Fifth Circuit Rules on Tip Pooling

In Montano v. Montrose Restaurant Associates, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit was presented with what may seem like an easy issue:  does including a “coffeeman” in a tip pool invalidate the tip credit? ...more

California Federal District Court Certifies Class of 160,000 Uber Drivers

In O’Connor v. Uber Technologies, Inc. (Filed 09/01/2015, No. C-13-3826 EMC), the United States District Court, Northern District of California, certified a class of approximately 160,000 current and former drivers of Uber in...more

Why Did Uber Lose In Court Today? And How It Can Still Avoid Future Misclassification Liability

Today was not a good day for Uber. It suffered its second setback from the federal district court judge hearing the independent contractor misclassification class action case brought by Uber drivers against the giant...more

California Federal Court Certifies Class of Uber Drivers Seeking Unpaid Tips

On Tuesday, September 1, 2015, Judge Edward M. Chen certified a class of Uber drivers seeking to collect tips they claim they were cheated out of by the ridesharing company. These drivers also allege that they have been...more

Navigating the Treacherous Waters of Tipped Employee Wages

As evening sets, many restaurants will find themselves bustling with customers and loyal patrons eager to put the day's work to rest. But while managers focus on reservations, inventory, food allergies, and table checks,...more

Restaurant Industry Update: Tennessee Court of Appeal Permits Lawsuit under State Tip Law to Proceed

The Tennessee Court of Appeal has held that a bartender can proceed with her lawsuit under §107 of the Tennessee Wage Regulation Act (TWRA), claiming her employer failed to pay her and other similarly situated employees tips...more

West Virginia DOL Withdraws Proposed Emergency Wage and Hour Regulations

In welcome news for employers, the West Virginia Department of Labor (WVDOL) has withdrawn a set of emergency regulations that would have significantly revamped state wage and hour requirements and created conflicts with...more

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