Archive for the ‘Authors’ Category

Dept. of Labor finds in Favor of Former Chickie’s & Pete’s Employees to the tune of $6.8 Million

A major investigation tipped of employees by the Department of Labor has Philadelphia sports bar and restaurant chain, Chickie’s & Pete’s, looking at a whopping $6.8 million in back wages and damages.

Chickie’s & Pete’s was found to have improperly taken tips from servers and to have violated federal overtime, minimum wage, and record-keeping requirements. Investigators from the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division determined that Chickie’s & Pete’s required servers to contribute between 2 and 4 percent of their daily table sales to an illegal “tip pool.” Sixty percent of that money went directly into the pockets of Chickie’s & Pete’s sole owner, Peter Ciarrocchi, Jr. The illegally pooled tips – known to Chickie’s & Pete’s employees as “Pete’s Tax” – were paid directly to management in cash at the end of each shift.

In addition to confiscating tips, Chickie’s & Pete’s paid servers and bartenders a shift rate that often did not cover hourly minimum cash wage requirements for tipped employees. Other violations included: insufficient overtime pay for employees working more than 40 hours a week, unpaid mandatory meetings and training, and requiring employees to pay for uniforms.

“Restaurant servers are among the lowest paid workers in this country,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. “Tipped workers deserve better and this action shows that the Department of Labor is ready to stand up for them.”

The $6.8 million dollar consent judgment will be divided between 1,159 employees at nine Chickie’s & Pete’s locations. Additional penalties and requirements include: a $50,000 civil money penalty, enhanced external and internal compliance monitoring, education for employees regarding their rights under the FLSA, and mandatory statements disclosing the details of all company tip pools.

Unemployment Insurance

What is it and how can it be controlled?

Unemployment Insurance is a joint program financed through federal and state employer payroll taxes.  The Federal Unemployment Tax Act authorizes the Internal Revenue Service to collect a federal employer tax used to fund state workforce agencies.  FUTA specifically covers the costs of administering the UI and extended unemployment benefits during periods of high unemployment.  In addition it provides for a fund from which states may borrow, if necessary, to pay benefits.  Generally, you can take a credit against your FUTA tax for amounts you paid into state unemployment funds.  The credit may be as much as 5.4% of FUTA taxable wages.  If you are entitled to the maximum 5.4% credit, the FUTA tax rate after credit is 0.6%.  This tax is calculated on the first $7,000 of annual compensation making the maximum tax per employee $42.00.

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Just Released: Contract Security Industry White Paper

The Fifth Annual White Paper from Robert Perry is a must-read for owners of contract security companies, as well as Private Equity Groups looking to make investments in this sector.

This White Paper is a comprehensive report that covers topics such as:

1. Defining the Market – Services the typical contract security company offers and the plans for expanding the menu. New insights into the matrix of the “Largest Companies” list.

2. Mergers and Acquisitions in the industry – the most active buyers and the multiples they are paying.

3. News on happenings around the world affecting the contract security industry.

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Fully Functioning NLRB Likely to Be Up and Running By August: Bad News for Employers

In January, the D.C. federal appeals court ruled in the case of NLRB v. Noel Canning that President Obama’s January 2012 recess appointments to the NLRB of Democrats Sharon Block and Richard Griffin and Republican Terence Flynn exceeded the recess appointment power granted to President’s in the Constitution and thus the appointments were invalid. Therefore, the NLRB decision against Noel Canning was made with just two valid members of the five member Board. As three valid Board members are the minimum needed for a quorum to take Board actions and make decisions, then the decision against Noel Canning was too invalid. Since the D.C. Court ruling, in two other similar challenges to NLRB decisions, two other federal appellate courts have also ruled the NLRB recess appointments were unconstitutional and thus NLRB decisions in those cases were invalid. The Supreme Court will take up the Noel Canning case next term and there is a strong possibility that the Court will agree with the Noel decision and thus invalidate the Board’s decisions/rules/appointments requiring a quorum that the Board has made since January 2012. The specter of the mass annulment of Board actions/decisions, despite statements from the Obama Administration and the NLRB that the Board would not be deterred in its mission, has indeed, much to chagrin of Big Labor, caused the Board to adopt a “go slow” approach, especially in area of issuing regulations.

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SHRM 2013

This year the SHRM convention, HR’s largest annual show, was in Chicago during the
Blackhawks vs Bruins Hockey match. Of course the only way I knew this was the big helmet
atop the lions adorning the front of the Art Institute! What a beautiful city bursting with

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Who Gets The Tip, And What’s All The Fuss About?

By Michael Busch
Founder, Valiant Restaurant Division

When someone provides a service, you may choose to leave them a tip as compensation or reward. Generally speaking, the better the service the larger the tip. But did you know that some restaurants, including Starbucks, require their employees to pool (or share) their tips with co-workers? And did you know that once tip-pooling becomes official store policy, it is the courts and not the customer that have final say regarding which workers are eligible to participate?

Who Gets The Tip, And What’s All The Fuss About?
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IRS guidelines outlined in a recent Bonnie Lee article on Fox Business

The IRS is bearing down to re-define classifications for workers in hopes of boosting revenue this tax season. Specifically, they’ll be taking a look at how independent contractors are treated under tax law.

Employees under probationary period, government assistance, and other discrepant forms of income acquisition will further be looked at as well. Get all of the facts in this Bonnie Lee piece for Fox Business.

Click here to view the full article.

Are You Ready For Health Care Reform?

On Monday, June 17, The New York City Hospitality Alliance hosted another packed seminar on What Health Care Reform means for the NYC hospitality industry.

The presentation was lead by representatives from the New York Health Benefit Exchange. It focused on what businesses that employ 50 or fewer eligible employees should know about the New York Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP), which will help small businesses and employees shop for and enroll in health plans.

The Presentation included:
What businesses are eligible for coverage through SHOP?
What are the participation requirements?
and much more…

Click here to download the full presentation

Click here for more information on SHOP


Two More Examples of the Benefit of “Corrective Action” in Bid Protests

Our January 2013 Alert discussed the “hidden benefit” of filing a bid protest: an agency’s decision to take “corrective action” instead of facing an adverse GAO decision. Two recent decisions by agencies to take corrective action in the face of bid protests filed by The Weinstein Law Group confirm the effectiveness of this remedy.

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Mandatory Employer Use of E-Verify A Pillar of Comprehensive Immigration Reform

As expected, despite the protests from civil libertarians and privacy advocates, the much anticipated “comprehensive immigration reform” bill (S. 744) introduced earlier this week by the Senate “Gang of Eight” will require all employers — on a phased-in basis based on employee size — to use the E-Verify system to determine whether a new hire is eligible to work in the United States.(See Section 3101).

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