Rounding out New York State Wage and Hour Compliance for Restaurants

For years, restaurants have been providing meals to their employees as part of the employee’s compensation package. These family meals are typically served before a service shift. If you’re one of these restaurants, be aware that there are compliance issues to deal with. The value of that meal, as defined by the state, is subject to New York State unemployment …

More New York State Labor Compliance for Restaurants

In my last blog I wrote about minimum wage and overtime laws, among other things. You may be wondering if these laws apply to “salaried” employees. A restaurant must pay these employees at least the minimum hourly wage for their first 40 hours each week, and time and one half of their regular hourly rate for all hours over 40, …

New Toys

Don’t get blinded by the shiny new toy – …

… remember what’s really important New technology is SEXY. Now that I have your attention, I’ll bore you with wage and hour compliance. It’s easy to be drawn to the latest mobile app or the hottest social media trend, but plaintiff attorneys are waiting for disgruntled employees to knock on their door. I want to bring you back to basics …

Tips

Auto-gratuities and the 80/20 Rule

Webster’s dictionary defines a gratuity (aka a tip) as something given voluntarily in return for a favor or service. The key word is “voluntarily”. If we accept that definition it is easy to see that the term automatic gratuity (auto-gratuity) is an oxymoron. You cannot automatically add on a gratuity if it needs to be voluntary. The IRS agrees. If …

What is the Future of Tipping?

A hot topic of discussion recently has been about increasing the minimum wage and specifically increasing the sub-minimum wage paid to tipped employees (minimum wage minus the tip credit). As minimum wage increases and the tip credit decreases or even disappears, more restaurateurs will consider eliminating tipping altogether in their establishments. Most of the debate will revolve around cultural habits. …

Tip Reporting

There are many unique things about restaurants which make them different from other businesses. When it comes to payroll, it’s the fact that many employees receive much of their compensation from customers in the form of gratuities. This is quite a unique phenomenon. For one thing, the employer has no control over these tips and therefore no control over the …

Happy New Year – Minimum Wage

When people think of a new year, visions of noise makers, balloons, and a crystal ball dropping in Times Square come to mind. However, for those of us in the payroll business, a new year brings change. In New York State, January 1, 2015 (actually December 31, 2014) was the most recent trigger date for the latest minimum wage increase. …

What Do Restaurant Workers Really Make?

The New York State Wage Board, appointed by the State Labor Commissioner, will soon complete their statewide hearings. They’ve been soliciting testimony with regards to any changes to the relevant regulations for food service workers and service employees. In other words, they want to know if the public thinks that a change in the minimum wage or the tip credit …

Hot Topic Du Jour: Minimum Wage

Minimum wage seems to be the hot topic these days. People’s opinions seem to be split along party lines with Republicans being against and Democrats being in favor. This is unfortunate because it doesn’t allow for logical thinking about this topic; a topic which I feel is relatively simple to understand. I could take what would be considered an extreme, …