Tag Archives: California restaurant law

Summer Updates In California Employment Laws

By Allegra A. Jones

Summertime in San Francisco and other California cities brings legal updates that are taking effect on July 1, 2018. Employers in the restaurant and bar industries should ensure they are complying with the San Francisco Parity in Pay Ordinance (if applicable) and minimum wage increases.  For example, employers affected by the minimum wage increases should ensure that their notices are up to date and confirm with their payroll provider that the increases took effect on July 1. More details about these developments are available here.

Midyear Compliance Check-In for Restaurants and Bars in California

By Allegra A. Jones

Just like checking your smoke detector or the air in your car tires, checking in about employment law updates midyear is a great idea. Here’s a quick primer on some of the most significant, recent developments affecting restaurants and bars:

1. California’s Version of the Equal Pay Act. It’s a good time for all employers to conduct an audit to make sure they are not paying workers of one sex more than workers of the opposite sex who are performing substantially similar work, in violation of the California Fair Pay Act. As of January 1, 2017, California employers must also be able to show that any difference in pay between employees performing substantially similar work is not based on race or ethnicity. For example, if your pay scale is based on merit, seniority, a piecemeal rate, or another valid factor such as education or training, pay disparity may be justifiable. But, the best practice is to conduct a full analysis of the reasons for any pay disparity among your employees, and to make sure that prior wage salary history is not the sole reason for any pay disparity.

2. Marijuana. Even though California “legalized” marijuana in the last election, employers need not permit marijuana use or distribution in the workplace. Under current California law, recreational and medicinal marijuana use does not need to be accommodated. (See Ross v. RagingWire Telecommunications, Inc.) When updating your employee handbook, make sure your drug-free workplace policy explicitly lists marijuana as a prohibited substance, particularly as cannabis is still listed as a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act (“CSA”) (21 U.S.C. § 812(c)). Continue reading Midyear Compliance Check-In for Restaurants and Bars in California

Dangers of Data-Mining in California Restaurants: Song-Beverly Credit Card Act

By Constantine Mittendorf

Data is hugely important in running a successful restaurant today.  Targeted email marketing campaigns can be an invaluable marketing tool.  But trying to collect too much data can land your bistro in hot water.  California has specific laws limiting what data can and cannot be collected – restaurants need to be aware of these limitations or it can be very costly.

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Prank Calls Wreck Restaurants – Criminal Liability and Fire Code Requirements

By Constantine Mittendorf

Attention Prank Calls

Last week, a number of restaurants in California’s Central Valley received a phone call from someone claiming to be from either a local fire department or a fire alarm company.  The caller asked the restaurant to test the emergency fire suppression system, claiming that the system was in “test mode.”  The problem was, it was a prank call, and the fire suppression system was not in “test mode.”

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How to Take Down Bad Reviews On Yelp and Win a $500,000 Judgment — Hint: Don’t Sue Yelp

By Constantine Mittendorf

Yelp - People Love Us
Want to remove bad reviews posted on Yelp that are hurting your business?  Want to win a half million dollar judgment against a malicious reviewer?  Here’s how one person did it – and they did it without suing Yelp.

Continue reading How to Take Down Bad Reviews On Yelp and Win a $500,000 Judgment — Hint: Don’t Sue Yelp

California Shark Fin Soup Ban Upheld

shark fin soupBy Christopher Yeh

After years of legal challenges, shark fin soup is off the menu for good in California.

Shark fin soup is a traditional Chinese dish frequently served as a luxury item at special occasions such as weddings.  It’s a controversial menu item because some fishermen harvest the fins by catching sharks, slicing off the fins, then tossing the shark back in the ocean.   Continue reading California Shark Fin Soup Ban Upheld

The Great Sushi Swindle

By Constantine Mittendorf

Sushi Photo1

Ever wonder if that sashimi you ordered is really bluefin tuna?   Well, the San Diego County City Attorney’s Office recently announced that it has been criminally prosecuting instances of sushi mislabeling.

“DNA testing found that one-third (33 percent) of the 1,215 samples analyzed nationwide were mislabeled

Continue reading The Great Sushi Swindle