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State & Federal Alcohol Compliance Update: TTB Enforcement and Related Matters

The U.S. Department of the Treasury, Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is the federal agency with oversight of alcohol beverage sales, marketing, and distribution. Every U.S. state has a companion state-level agency to TTB. In recent months, TTB has, thanks to a generous allocation in the federal budget, embarked on a rigorous trade practice investigation ...
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California Employers Are Not Required To Reimburse Restaurant Workers For The Cost Of Slip-Resistant Shoes Under Labor Code Section 2802

A recent California Court of Appeal decision, Townley v. BJ’s Restaurants, Inc., has further defined the scope of reimbursable business expenses under California Labor Code section 2802, this time in the context of slip-resistant shoes for restaurant workers. A former server filed an action under the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA), ...
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Forces Attacking Restaurant & Bar Profits (and how the industry can fight back!)

Introduction. Third-party delivery, streaming video, meal-prep kits, and other market disruptors are changing the face of the food and beverage industry as we’ve known it. This paper will examine current market forces that are cutting into F&B profits, whether at restaurants, bars, or hotels, and provide important insights to keep guests coming back (and spending ...
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Life, Liberty, and a Gluten-Free Meal

Colonial Williamsburg Restaurant sued under the ADA for not allowing child to consume his home-prepared gluten-free meal. The Governor’s Palace in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. A brick Colonial house with a courtyard, and former home of Thomas Jefferson. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was enacted in 1990 to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities in ...
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Use of Surcharges and Best Tips to Avoid False Advertising and Other Consumer Claims

Due to a myriad of legislative and court decisions, some restaurants particularly in California have elected to add a surcharge to their receipts to defray increased costs incurred over the last several years.  The increased costs of operating a restaurant can be attributed to minimum wage increases, healthcare, paid sick leave, restrictive scheduling, cost of food and ...
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If The Shoe Fits: How Footwear Policy May Lead To Wage And Hour Violations

Hotel and restaurant employers commonly require employees to wear uniforms, some as simple as a shirt with company logo, others requiring a more complete look: jacket or blouse and pants or skirt, or dress. Some employers, however, fail to consider the consequences of imposing the cost of the uniform on an employee. Under the federal ...
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Would You Like Fries And A Political Opinion With That? Regulating Employee Buttons, Pins, And Insignia In The Workplace

Burgers and buttons are making headlines again. Employees at Burgerville—a fast-food restaurant chain in the Pacific Northwest—recently took to wearing buttons to work and were sent home for the day. These buttons were not your typical “Hi! My Name Is ______” fare. Instead, 10 Burgerville employees in Oregon showed up to work wearing buttons which ...
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Legal Issues in the Hospitality Sector

The Hospitality Sector has many unique legal issues, and the number of crimes involving Hospitality Laws continues to rise. There were 2656 hotel crimes committed in New York in 2017 alone. Hotels and bars restaurants are the two most common sites of hospitality crimes. Legal issues in the hospitality sector most often involve the theft ...
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Court Finds that Restaurant Complied with California Law by Requiring Employees Purchasing Discounted Meals to Eat their Meals on Premises

In California, generally an employer may not employ a non-exempt employee for a work period of more than five hours per day without providing the employee with a meal period that may be taken off the premises. Yet, in the restaurant industry employers often provide employees free or discounted meals to be eaten on the ...
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The Most Easily-Remedied Mistakes F&B Employers May Not Know They Are Making

INTRODUCTION. Restaurateurs spend months (and sometimes years) working with attorneys and other professionals preparing to open, dedicating countless hours to paperwork-intensive processes such as corporate formation, leases, permits, and the like. Unfortunately, by the time they are ready to hire employees and open their doors, they often do not cross the finish line with the ...
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