Delivering Hospitality Legal and Safety News to the Food & Beverage Industry

November 2018's Converge Newsletter
Tips, Service Charges, & Automatic Gratuities Continue To Cause Problems For Employers
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November 22, 2018 via ConvergeBlog

Hospitality employers nationwide continue to be hit with class action lawsuits alleging failure to properly pay/distribute tips, as well as failure to correctly characterize service charges and automatic gratuities.  These lawsuits have the potential to result in verdicts or settlement amounts more costly than virtually any other employment-related matter.  As a result, it is important to periodically review what is or is not permissible under the law is it relates to tips, service charges, and automatic gratuities.

Most employers are familiar with the basic premise that a tip is a voluntary amount a guest leaves for an employee over the amount due for the goods sold or services rendered, while a service charge is an amount agreed-upon in advance by a venue for services provided, often in connection with large pre-planned events.  However, service charges are treated differently than tips for tax and other purposes, and automatic gratuities add an extra complicated layer in this analysis.

Conn Maciel Carey's ConvergeBlog
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Regulating Employee Buttons, Pins, & Insignia In The Workplace

November 27, 2018 via ConvergeBlog
The issue of whether an employer can regulate politically charged apparel and insignia has been festering for years, in and out of the fast-food arena, and a sampling of several recent cases reveals that the issue remains a challenge for employers to resolve...
Fisher Phillips
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Strategies For Serving Responsibly

August/September 2018 via Cheers Magazine

Most states prohibit practices and promotions that encourage the excessive consumption of alcohol. Some states, cities and counties prohibit or limit Happy Hours and promotions such as hotel packages, all-you-can-drink offers and two-for-one beverage deals.
Gray Robinson
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Minimum Wage Set To Rise In More Than 20 States
November 20, 2018 via Nation's Restaurant News

Minimum wages are less of a flash point than they once were, observers say, and many states have passed laws that chart out gradual increases or tie minimum-wage hikes to an inflation measure such as the Consumer Price Index. See the accompanying chart for a state-by-state rundown on increases for 2019.
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