Overtime Myths in the Restaurant Industry

Overtime myths can circulate in any line of work, and the restaurant industry is no exception. Some of the most prevalent myths deal with wages and overtime. As an employer, it is vital that you don’t fall for these myths because they could lead to unnecessary disputes, lawsuits or compliance penalties.
An Employee Can Waive the Right to Overtime

Sometimes employers get the idea that if an employee is willing to work longer hours and waive overtime, it works out well for both of them. However, under the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) , when an employee who is not an exempt employee (not a manager, executive, etc.) works overtime (over 40 hours in a workweek), employers must pay the employee for overtime. A workweek can begin or end on any day that the employer designates.

In fact, an employee, who waived overtime, actually has the legal right to turn around and sue the employer for overtime pay.

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Religious Discrimination and Undue Hardship

Religious discrimination in the workplace violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Employers must, for the most part, accommodate employees concerning their religious practices in regards to the following:

Flexible scheduling
Voluntary shift swaps or substitutions
Job reassignments
Modifications to workplace policies or practices

If a worker has to take day off for religious observance, the employer should make accommodations. Certain dress codes or grooming policies may need to be relaxed for wearing a Jewish yarmulke or Muslim headscarf, or for beards and long hair (Rastafarian dreadlocks or Sikh).

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National Origin and Race Discrimination and Retaliation: EEOC Sues Long Island Company

Claims of national origin and race discrimination along with retaliation were the basis of an EEOC lawsuit brought against a Long Island Company headquartered in Massapequa, NY in August 2017.

A&F Fire Protection Co, Inc. is a sprinkler installation company that allegedly violated federal law by allowing a hostile work environment where black and Hispanic employees were routinely subjected to racial insults.
Details of the National Origin and Race Discrimination Allegations

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New York City Faces Lawsuit for Trying to Enforce Menu Labeling Law

Although the federal menu labeling law was passed as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, it has been stopped from going into effect several times. It was originally going to become effective in 2016. When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) postponed menu labeling for a year in May 2017, the new date for it to go into effect was established as May 7, 2018.

Despite the federal delay, Restaurant.org reported that the New York City government intended to go ahead and enforce the labeling law anyway, and enforcement would begin on August 21, 2017.

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Should You Have an Arbitration Clause in Your Employment Contract?

There is a reason that arbitration has gained a foothold in business disputes over the past 20 years, whether between employees and employers or between businesses.
The Advantages of Arbitration

Arbitration offers business owners advantages as a means of dispute resolution including the following:

Lower costs. Generally, arbitration is less expensive than litigation.

Faster resolutions. Nolo reports that a recent study done by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services that the average time for an arbitrated case to resolve is 475 days from filing. In contrast, the average litigated case takes 18 months to three years.

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