Industry Insights

Customers Ann Rolke
bar with people

Minors and Bars: The Basics

Everyone knows that in California you must be 21 in order to consume alcoholic beverages. However, can someone under the age of 21 sit at a bar?


Cellular Telephones

While at work, we expect our employees to devote their fully energy and attention to conducting company business. Receiving personal phone calls or making personal phone calls using company cell phones during working hours is not appropriate.

Health Care

California’s Paid Sick Leave Law

The California Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (“the Act”), entitling California employees to paid sick leave, has been in effect since July 1, 2015…


Don’t be a target for hackers

While most restaurant owners accept credit and debit cards, very few understand the financial strain that may result if data thieves break into the

Labor + Employment

Employee Theft: Why do employees steal?

Employee theft in the workplace is a growing problem that affects many employers. Nearly 95 percent of all businesses suffer from theft in the workplace and approximately 75 percent of all employees steal from their employers at least once.


Employer-mandated tip pooling guidelines

Tips and their distribution among the staff have plagued the hospitality industry for years. Federal courts interpret the federal law differently and states have enacted their own statutes that place


Employment of minors

The California Labor Code defines a minor as “any person under the age of 18 years who is required to attend school …”


Employment termination

Terminating an employment relationship is never easy. Many people fail to appreciate how personally and legally difficult separating someone’s employment is for an employer.


Guide to family, medical and pregnancy leave

Depending on their size, California employers are required to comply with several leave of absence laws, including the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), and the Parent Leave Act (PLA).

Health Care

HIV and other communicable diseases

Since the California Restaurant Association first published the report AIDS in the Workplace: Facts and Fears in 1985, the level of public education and understanding of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and how HIV is contracted has changed considerably.

Customers Phil Choi

Legal restrictions on gift cards and certificates

Pursuant to Civil Code Section 1749.5, it is unlawful to sell gift certificates or gift cards with an expiration date. It is also unlawful to refuse to redeem for cash when the certificate value is less than $10. 

Customers Phil Choi

Marijuana use in restaurants

With the passage of Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, California voters legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults 21 years old and over.


Overtime: An overview of overtime

Note: Highlighted words or sections indicate new or updated material from the last version of this guidance.

The overtime rules affecting California’s food and alcohol/beverage service industries are described in Industrial Welfare Commission Order 5-2001 (Hours, Wages and Working Conditions in the Public Housekeeping Industry). The federal rules are contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Business Ann Rolke

Retention period requirements for preservation of records

Note: Highlighted words or sections indicate new or updated material from the last version of this guidance.

You’ve recently noticed that old files have taken up what little filing space you have left. Can you throw some of them away?

Below is a summary of the record-retention requirements for sales and use tax, federal and state income tax, and federal and state employment tax.


Smoking and the hospitality industry

California continues to set national and worldwide precedent in prohibitions on indoor and outdoor smoking. The following is a summary of California’s statewide…

Labor + Employment

Social Security Administration – Employer Correction Notices

In spring 2019, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it will begin to issue Employer Correction Request (EDCOR) notices to employers (and third-party service providers) informing them of discrepancies between an employee’s W-2 information and SSA’s records.

Labor + Employment

Split Shifts: How to handle split shifts

The Industrial Welfare Commission defines a split shift as a work schedule that is interrupted by a non-paid, non-working period established by the employer that is not a rest or meal period. (See IWC Wage Order No. 5, Section 2).


Tip reporting requirements

TEFRA requires tipped employees working at “large food or beverage establishments” to report, at a minimum, 8 percent of the establishment’s gross…


Tips defined and guidelines

On June 20, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Ruling 2012-18 to clarify and update existing guidelines on taxation issues affecting the hospitality industry.


Understanding and guidance on surcharges

Note: Highlighted words or sections indicate new or updated material from the last version of this guidance.

Due to a myriad of legislative and court decisions, some restaurants in California have elected to add a surcharge to their receipts to defray increased costs incurred over the last several years.

Staff Phil Choi

Uniforms: Guide to uniforms

Many restaurant operators are confused about uniforms. What they are? Who buys them? Who takes care of them?  These are all very common questions that operators will have.


Unionization and the workplace

In 1983, approximately 20 percent of all workers were union members. Since then, the rate of membership has steadily declined. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics…

Minimum Wage

Wage deductions and garnishments

With the exception of standard payroll tax deductions, the law generally prohibits an employer from deducting any wages from an employee’s paycheck…

Labor + Employment

Wage enforcement

Wage theft occurs when an employee earns less money than his or her employer is legally required to pay. This usually arises when an employee alleges…