Brunoro Law Blog

Monday, November 14, 2016

New Regulations Could Impact Employers in the Food and Beverage Industry

How can I ensure my business is in compliance with federal and state regulations?

Employers in the food and beverage industry face significant regulatory changes in the year 2017.  New federal legislation and court rulings will have an impact on employers nationwide, with those in the food and beverage industry perhaps affected the most.  Regulatory compliance is critical for employers, and it can have a tremendous impact on your bottom line.  The following is a look at some of the changes to come in 2017 and how you can ensure you are in compliance:

Overtime Changes

The Department of Labor passed a new law that will update current overtime regulations starting on December 1, 2016.  Under the new federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the minimum salary that must be paid to an exempt employee will more than double.  In December, to be exempt from overtime, employees must receive an annual salary of $47,476 or $913 per week, up from just $23,660 or $455 a week.  

Employers in the food and beverage industry, which may have several exempt employees, must soon either raise employee salaries or convert salaried employees to hourly employees eligible for overtime.  Either of these options will impact employer’s bottom lines.  Employers are encouraged to consult with a corporate law attorney who will review their payroll and staff to develop a strategic plan towards compliance.  

Employee Tip Pooling

The FLSA allows for employers to take a “tip credit” and pay employees less than minimum wage under some circumstances.  Tip pooling is permitted for employees that regularly receive tips, but a series of recent class action lawsuits against employers concerning tip sharing should alert employers to proceed with this practice with caution.  Employers should sit down with an attorney to review tip pool policies.  Employees who are not eligible to take part in tip sharing should not do so and must be paid at least minimum wage.

In the shifting workplace landscape, it can be difficult and costly to keep up with federal and state regulatory requirements.  But the failure to comply will cost you far more in the long run.  Contact the San Diego corporate law attorneys at Brunoro Law for comprehensive assistance with your business matters.


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