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Operating a restaurant involves a lot of moving parts – most controlled by you, but many controlled by laws, regulations, licenses and permits. Alcoholic beverages, food safety, labor practices and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (the healthcare mandate) are significant – and then there is everything else.

Get to know the regulatory agencies that govern such things as sidewalk cafes, signage, noise, fire safety and more. And, get to know about the efforts being made by RAMW on your behalf to improve the regulatory environment.

Littler Mendelson: Specializing in Employment and Labor Law

August 6, 2015
Littler represents hundreds of restaurant clients, including full-service restaurants and restaurant chains, as well as hospitality employers such as hotels and casinos, and agricultural and food-processing companies. Our work with these employers forms a critical foundation of our practice and we have a dedicated practice group serving the needs of restaurant, hospitality and food and beverage clients. We represent and counsel these clients on the full range of workplace issues, including wage and hour audits and litigation; labor management issues such as union organizing campaigns,...

BOEE Accepts "Minimum Wage Act of 2016"

July 23, 2015
Yesterday the DC Board of Elections decided that the “Minimum Wage Act of 2016” is proper subject matter for a ballot initiative pursuant to the Initiative Procedures Act. We have been monitoring this issue closely, and worked with the larger business community to craft testimony for the BOEE hearing, which opposed the the initiative. Under the proposed ballot initiative, the minimum wage would gradually increase to $15 an hour by 2020. The ballot initiative would also increase the tipped minimum wage to $15 an hour by July 1, 2024. The approved language will be published in the...

DOL Releases Overtime Proposal

July 8, 2015
After more than a year of deliberation, the Department of Labor released a 295-page proposal to rewrite federal overtime laws. Click here for the DOL proposal . Among the changes, the DOL has proposed guaranteeing overtime pay to salaried employees who earn less than $50,440 a year ($970 per week). That's up from the current threshold of $23,660. Under the proposal, the salary threshold would be automatically updated in the future based on inflation or wage growth. The agency did not propose a new "duties test" regarding the responsibilities of exempt managerial employees, but...

DC Minimum Wage

July 8, 2015
On July 1st the minimum wage in DC increased to $10.50 an hour . This increase is based on legislation passed by the DC City Council, which increases the minimum wage over a three step process. July 1st was the second step in the increase process. The third increase will take place July 1, 2016 and will raise the minimum wage to $11.50 an hour.

Maryland Minimum Wage

July 8, 2015
Montgomery County Council Changes Minimum Wage Effective Dates and Freezes Tip Wage at Current $4.00 New Effective Dates Earlier this year, the Montgomery County Council passed legislation which changes the 2016 and 2017 effective dates for County minimum wage increases. On October 1, 2015, the Montgomery County minimum wage will increase from the current $8.40/hour to $9.55/hour as scheduled. However, subsequent wage increases will become effective in July instead of October in order to align the County with statewide minimum wage effective dates. Tip Wage Change On June 23, 2015, the...

DC Foam Container Ban

July 7, 2015
Effective January 1, 2016, it is illegal for District businesses and organizations that serve food or beverages to use containers and other food service products made of expanded polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam ™ . Click here for more information.

Commercial Loading Zones in DC

October 31, 2014
Starting on January 1, 2015 Commercial Loading Zones Will Require a Permit or Meter Payment in DC To unload/load in a commercial vehicle loading zone you must display a permit or pay-by-cell. Ways to Pay: 1. Annual or Daily Permit Allows parking at commercial vehicle loading zones during designated hours for up to two hours, and parking in an available metered space between 10am-2pm. 2. Pay-by-cell If you choose not to purchase a permit, all loading zones will accept payment through ParkMobile. Follow the instructions on the loading zone signage to pay for the space. Starting November 3, 2014...

Three ways Virginia could raise the price of liquor, per McAuliffe's budget

October 22, 2014
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe 's announcement this week that the state would make up some of its budget deficit by increasing the markup on distilled spirits already has those in the hospitality industry gearing up for paying more — and thus charging more — for drinks. McAuliffe didn't outline how exactly the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control would raise an additional $2.5 million from the liquor markup, but ABC is considering three options, according to a letter sent to stakeholders Wednesday and provided to the Washington Business Journal. Though some...Read more

2012 DC DOH Food Code

October 15, 2014
Are you in compliance with the DC Department of Health 2012 Food Code ? DC Department of Health is now enforcing the 2012 DC Food Code Regulations ( click here for code ). There are significant changes within the code and it is important you read the new code to make sure your restaurant is in full compliance. Full compliance with the 2012 Food Code is not only crucial to the success of your business, but also to the success of your DOH inspections. Helpful tips for successfully completing DOH inspections: 1. Make sure you are in full compliance with the 2012 DC Food Code. 2. Always have an...

Could You Pass Inspection Today?

September 18, 2014 to October 18, 2014
Focus on cleanliness, good hygiene practices to prep your restaurant for an A+ By Kristin Dempsey Heading up a restaurant means there is an endless list of things you need to get ready for each and every day. In the hustle and bustle of the daily lunch rush or the late-night crowd, it’s easy to push one of the most important items farther and farther down the “to do” list: Get ready for the next health inspection. You don’t want to be left scrambling to make sure everything is up to code right before an expected visit – which you can’t predict anyway. What...