Stokes Wagner Law Firm
Stokes Wagner

As employer-provided rideshares and shuttles grow in popularity, employers often ask whether their employees should be paid for their time spent on company-provided transportation. A California appellate court recently affirmed a long-standing rule that, so long as the employer-provided shuttle is optional, the time spent on a company-provided vehicle does not count as “hours worked” and is not compensable.

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Senate Bill 970, signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on September 27, 2018, will require employers in the hotel and/or motel industry to educate their employees on human trafficking awareness.

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San Francisco implemented critical amendments to its “Ban-the-Box”, or “Fair Chance Ordinance” (“FCO”). These amendments went into effect on October 1, 2018.

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On September 30, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown signed a number of bills that will have a major impact on businesses operating in California.

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In the wake of the recent Las Vegas shooting and the rise of the #MeToo movement, concerns about safety in the hospitality space are at an all-time high. The American Hotel & Lodging Association (“AHLA”) recently re-emphasized its dedication to these issues through its announcement of the 5-Star Promise in September 2018. Most notably, major hotel brands including Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, and Wyndham, have publicly shown their support for the Promise and its goals.

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In April 2018, Governor Cuomo of New York signed a set of laws aimed at combating sexual harassment in the workplace. New York employers must (1) provide all employees with written policies describing employee protections against sexual harassment and (2) conduct annual sexual harassment prevention trainings with all employees.

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Last week the Ninth Circuit filed its en banc opinion by the Ninth Circuit in Marsh v. J. Alexander’s LLC, No. 15-15791, 2018 WL 4440364 (9th Cir. Sept. 18, 2018). In this case, the full Ninth Circuit overturned previous panel and district court decisions and upheld the U.S. Department of Labor’s “20%” rule for tipped employees.

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This week, HotelExecutive.com published an article by our own John Hunt and Ashley Nunneker, covering the nuanced differences between different types of compensation for hotel and restaurant servers. Check it out on their website! And if this thorough review doesn’t quite clarify everything you’re wondering about gratuities and service charges, contact Stokes Wagner with any questions you might have!

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On Tuesday, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection published a new version of the “Summary of Your Rights Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act”. This version must be provided to job applicants when conducting employment background checks pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”). The revised Summary of Rights alerts applicants to their right to obtain a free national “security freeze”, which prohibits credit reporting agencies from releasing a person’s credit report without their consent.

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Hospitality guests have historically used gratuity to acknowledge their service staff’s excellent work. Employees have come to expect and rely on gratuities, as they now often form the majority of their incomes. Restaurants also sometimes charge guests mandatory fees instead of, or in addition to, gratuity. Yet employers often mislabel, mishandle and commingle gratuities and service charges, which can have serious legal implications. Understanding the differences between a gratuity and a service charge is critical. Below, we demystify these payments and explain how to limit your exposure through best practices.

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