December 2013 | www.RestaurantOwner.com
In its most recent budget, the DOL requested an additional $10 million in funding for fiscal year 2013 to pursue ‘a continued shift to greater directed and complaint enforcement activity in priority industries’ - which includes restaurants.
By/; Alisa P. Cleek and Laura R. Anthony
When you think of legal action against your restaurant (hopefully not at 3 in the morning), you might envision a guest’s slip-and fall suit, or a workers’ compensation claim from a knife injury in the kitchen. Chances are, however, labor law violations are among the greatest sources of liability for small businesses, including restaurants. Part of the reason is operators aren’t aware of labor law provisions, and unwittingly get tangled in errors.
The federal agencies are gunning for violators. Halfway through 2013, we found the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) as aggressive as ever in investigating violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) within the restaurant industry.
DOL initiatives have already been put in place in multiple jurisdictions, including Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Utah and the Los Angeles area, with more expected in the future. Notably, in its most recent budget, the DOL requested an additional $10 million in funding for fiscal year 2013 to pursue “a continued shift to greater directed and complaint enforcement activity in priority industries,” which includes restaurants.
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