Restaurant Law Blog

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

7 Commonly Overlooked Restaurant Compliance Issues

I am considering opening a restaurant in Manhattan. What are some compliance issues I should consider?

Owning a successful restaurant in New York City is tough, especially given the stiff competition and crabby critics. However, one area that need not be a headache is city and state compliance, The administrative regulations that apply to bars and restaurants are lengthy and detailed. If you are considering opening a restaurant in New York City, a restaurant and bar lawyer can help you better understand some of the most common pitfalls in regulatory compliance, including:

  • Wages: Unlike other jurisdictions, you must pay your wait staff at least minimum wage, along with all other hourly positions. However, there is a certain tip credit you are allowed to deduct from tipped workers’ pay.
  • Pay Periods: Your entire restaurant staff must be paid weekly, and no later than seven days after the last day of the prior workweek. For terminated employees, pay must be remitted no later than the next regular payday.
  • Overtime: If an non-executive or non-administrative employee (i.e., salaried) works beyond 40 hours per week, overtime pay of one and one-half times the regular pay rate must be calculated and paid on the next regular pay day.
  • Days Off: New York law requires restaurant owners to give each staff member at least one day off per week. There are also rest/meal break requirements for employees working over 6 hours per shift.
  • Uniforms: If you require a specific, monogrammed, or otherwise highly-unique uniform, you must pay for and maintain the clothing. If you require basic black pants and a white or black top, employees may be required to foot the bill.
  • Unionization: If your staff decides to unionize, or join an established union, you are not permitted to penalize or punish this decision.
  • Discrimination: Restaurant employers shall not discriminate based on race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, gender, gender identity, sex, age, pregnancy, disability, genetic disposition, military status, marital status, partnership status, sexual orientation, status as a victim of domestic violence, arrest records, conviction records, lawful off-duty activities or citizenship.

Avoiding compliance infractions is one of the easiest components of restaurant ownership, provided you have a team like DiPasquale Law Group on your side. To make an appointment, call our experienced restaurant lawyers at (646)383-4607 today.


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