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 In response to the increasing risk of hunger throughout the nation, several community and non-profit organizations have developed initiatives to create partnerships within the food service industry in order to minimize food waste. These initiatives are focused on restaurants donating excess food to people and families in need. While the food service industry can make a meaningful impact to reduce hunger in the United States, restaurant operators and owners should understand the laws governing these activities. This document is intended to provide a brief overview of applicable federal laws and laws enacted in the State of Ohio.

 Social media has been and will continue to be an issue for employers. It has become the way people, especially Millennials, who make up a significant amount of the restaurant-industry workforce, communicate. When most employers think about social media in the workplace, they tend to think solely in terms of the high-profile social media firing cases where employers have terminated employees for posts made on social media. While social-media based discipline is certainly an issue for employers, there are a number of other social-media related issues that employers should be aware of. In this piece, five are addressed, starting with the most familiar and common offender, social media discipline. 

Within that framework, there are specified reasons for requested leave. Employees may request leave for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care, or to care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition, or the employee’s own serious health condition. And finally, for illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition involving inpatient care, or continuing treatment by a Health Care Provider (“HCP”). The treatment must be for an incapacity of more than three consecutive, full calendar days that involves either: Treatment two times by an HCP (first in-person visit within seven days, both visits within 30 days of first day of incapacity) or treatment one time by an HCP (in-person visit within seven days of first day of incapacity), followed by a regimen of continuing treatment (e.g., prescription medication). It is within this category that intermittent leave arises, which typically poses the most difficulties for Ohio’s employers.

Ohio’s new medical marijuana law became effective on September 6, 2016, making Ohio the 25th state to pass a medical marijuana bill. As of the beginning of 2018, 29 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and Washington, D.C. have legalized the use of medical marijuana while 8 states have legalized the use of recreational marijuana. Ohio only allows the use of medical marijuana within the state.

Passing a $15 per hour starting wage would have stifling impacts to restaurants and other small businesses in areas where workers do not face the cost of living they do in major cities. When small businesses suffer, their employees and customers suffer, and larger goals like expansion and new job creation are undermined, and everyone loses. 
In January 2020, the United States Department of Labor (“USDL”) announced a final ruling which updates the interpretation of “joint employer” status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) effective March 16, 2020. For over 60 years, there had been no meaningful updates regarding joint employer status, leaving many franchisors and similarly situated parties wondering – is my entity liable as a joint employer for my franchisee’s/affiliate’s acts relating to employees? Finally, the USDL has helped shed some light on this issue.
Recently, pizza chains and other employers employing delivery drivers have learned a hard lesson of not paying their drivers the appropriate minimum wage. In many instances, these employers are not aware of the requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Many employers think that since a delivery driver receives tips and agreed to a fixed rate per delivery, the driver need only be paid the minimum wage for tipped employees. However, as many employers have recently learned in court, not paying attention to an employee’s actual wage and their personal expenses on the clock can be a costly mistake.