California Hospitality Resource

January 01, 2014 Soft Roll-Out Code Enforcement for Hand Contact & Ready-To-Eat Foods
by Christine H. Long
A new section of the California Retail Food Code scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2014, requiring foodservice workers to use disposable gloves or utensils when handling ready-to-eat foods will not be strictly enforced for the first six months of 2014. The change was included in AB 1252, which made several changes to the Code.
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April 13, 2012 California Supreme Court’s Long-Awaited Decision On Meal Periods & Rest Breaks

On April 12, 2012, the California Supreme Court decided Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court of San Diego (Hohnbaum), the seminal case on meal periods and rest breaks for non%exempt employees in California. While leaving intact the ability of employees to file class actions or individual actions against employers that fail to provide meal or rest breaks, the Court generally sided with employers in clarifying the scope of the employer’s legal obligations.
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April 13, 2012 California Supreme Court’s Long-Awaited Decision on Meal Periods & Rest Breaks

On April 12, 2012, the California Supreme Court decided Brinker Restaurant Corporation v. Superior Court of San Diego (Hohnbaum), the seminal case on meal periods and rest breaks for non-exempt employees in California. While leaving intact the ability of employees to file class actions or individual actions against employers that fail to provide meal or rest breaks, the Court generally sided with employers in clarifying the scope of the employer’s legal obligations.
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July 01, 2011 California Food Handler Law
by Christine H. Long
All food handlers must have a California Food Handler Card on or before July 1, 2011. Employees hired after June 1, 2011 will have 30 days from the date of hire to acquire a food handler card.
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March 01, 2011 Those Little Buggers Are Back! A Bed Bug War In Going On And Hoteliers May Be Losing
by Christine H. Long
Lodging owners today face a litigious environment. The courts are speaking. Lodging owners are losing. Courts are finding these properties liable for failing to protect guests from known bed bug infestations. It has been found that the conduct of some properties amounts to gross negligence and courts are finding in favor of the plaintiffs more often than not.
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March 01, 2011 Those Little Buggers are Back! A Bed Bug War in Going On and Hoteliers May Be Losing
by Christine H. Long
Lodging owners today face a litigious environment. The courts are speaking. Lodging owners are
losing. Courts are finding these properties liable for failing to protect guests from known bed bug
infestations. It has been found that the conduct of some properties amounts to gross negligence and
courts are finding in favor of the plaintiffs more often than not.
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October 08, 2010 California Employers Required to Post New Workers’ Comp Notice
by Christine H. Long
In California, all employers are subject to mandatory workplace posting requirements. Effective
October 8, 2010, all persons or entities that employ at least one person in the state are required
by the California Department of Workers’ Compensation to revise and post the new “Notice to
Employees – Injuries Caused by Work.” The notice must be posted in a conspicuous place
frequented by employees, such as a bulletin board by the time-clock or in the lunchroom.
Penalties can be quite stiff if an employer fails to comply: a potential misdemeanor charge and/or
up to $7,000 in civil penalties. An employer may be cited for such a violation in connection with
a workplace inspection for a totally unrelated purpose - such as an OSHA or a wage-and-hour
matter.
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August 20, 2010 How An Alternative Workweek May Maximize Your Labor Costs
by Christine H. Long
Hotels and restaurants often are faced with the tough dilemma of scheduling employees during “peak” hours. Alternative workweek schedules permit many employers to avoid paying daily overtime to employees who do not work more than 40 hours a week. Both employers and employees can benefit from such arrangements. The most common schedules are 4 – 10-hour days or 4 – 9-hour days and 1 – 4-hour day.
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January 01, 2010 Federal Menu Labeling Law Preempts State and Local Laws
by Christine H. Long
Many provisions in the recently passed Health Care Reform Act will have an effect on the food
service industry. Included among those, is a new Federal rule regulating menu labeling. The
Federal requirement attempts to establish a uniform approach to nutrition labeling on menus,
and is intended to preempt state and local laws different from those in the Act.
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January 01, 2010 Worker’s Comp in the Hospitality Industry: “E-Mod” - What Is It and How Can It Be Controlle?
by Christine H. Long
If you are an employer in California, you must have worker’s compensation coverage. However, while you may think you have little control or choice in this type of insurance coverage, the opposite is true.
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January 01, 2010 California Courts Set the Framework For Lawful Tip Pooling
by Christine H. Long
It is not uncommon for restaurants to require a “tip pool” among its employees – waiters, bartenders, busboys and bar-backs may be required to share in all of the tips collected in a day. The issue has been raised in the courts as to whether this is an acceptable practice.
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January 01, 2010 Workplace Crime: How to Detect and Prevent
by Christine H. Long
Every year billions of dollars are lost by businesses nationwide to employee fraud and theft. Small businesses are especially vulnerable to occupational fraud and less able to absorb a loss than a larger business; in fact, it is not unusual for a small business to be bankrupted by theft committed by a single employee. This article summarizes the arsenal of tools for preventing employee theft and the methods to respond if it is discovered.
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October 01, 2009 Rules and Regulations Governing Employee Restructuring
by Christine H. Long
In these lean economic times, words such as “furlough,” “regular day off,” and “reduced pay” are frequently bantered about. However, each of these terms carries with it specific rules and regulations that must be followed when implemented. Handled improperly, a downsizing or a reduction in pay can damage the public standing of both the organization and its management, and expose the company to costly litigation or government action.
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August 19, 2009 New Legislation Gives Employers Latitude in Adjusting Employee Pay and Benefits

Reversing its 2002 opinion on the subject, the DLSE issued an opinion letter stating that employers may temporarily reduce the salaries of their exempt employees along with a matching reduction in work schedules during periods where the employer operates shortened workweeks due to economic conditions, without the presumption that such a change destroys the exempt status of those employees.
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March 23, 2009 How an Alternative Workweek May Maximize Your Labor Costs
by Christine H. Long
Hotels and restaurants often are faced with the tough dilemma of scheduling employees during “peak” hours. Alternative workweek schedules permit many employers to avoid paying daily overtime to employees who do not work more than 40 hours a week. Both employers and employees can benefit from such arrangements. The most common schedules are 4 – 10-hour days or 4 – 9-hour days and 1 – 4-hour day.
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July 22, 2008 Employers Granted Greater Flexibility on Meal and Rest Periods in Hotel and Lodging Industry
by Christine H. Long
Class action litigation over meal and rest break laws has been on the rise. Rest and meal breaks can happen very easily in the hospitality industry. The front desk gets busy, the restaurant gets flooded with customers, a customer has a complaint, and before you know it, an employee has worked through their meal or rest period. And, too often, frazzled and untrained managers may ask employees to work through a meal or rest period, or to delay their meal and rest period. These practices can lead to meal and rest break lawsuits, and often not by one or two employees, but rather by all of the employees in the form of a class action. However, in the past two years, California has started to cut employers a break regarding meal and rest periods.
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February 15, 2008 OSHA Rules Require Employer To Pay For Personal Protective Equipment
by Christine H. Long
As of February 15, 2008, OSHA requires the employer to pay for Personal Protective Equipment. The following are a few examples of the PPE required in the lodging industry: Face shields, visors, goggles, hard hats, reusable gloves; protective aprons, gowns and head cover for handling blood borne pathogens; air‐support face masks where chemicals such as ammonia or chlorine might require an engineer’s intervention.
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August 20, 2002 Bailments: Hotel Liability For a Guest’s Lost, Stolen or Damaged Property

An irate Mrs. Smith stands before your front desk manager, questioning the where abouts of her diamond necklace which she claims to have left in her room just hours ago. Mr. Thorn is upset because the valet has returned his cherished Porsche convertible with a new scratch on the driver’s door. Are you liable for these and similar mishaps?
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August 01, 2002 Understanding With Whom You Are Doing Business
by Christine H. Long
No business can manage every aspect of operation on its own. This is especially true of
hotels and other hospitality service providers who must utilize many vendors and
contractors in order to accommodate their clients’ needs and meet their own daily business
requirements. Undoubtedly, the hospitality service provider knows the nature and details of
the deal with the contractor. However, far too often, the type of organization with whom
they are dealing is ignored. Unfortunately, this oversight has the potential to result in
negative consequences for the hospitality service provider.
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August 01, 2002 They Were Terrorists, But How Could You Have Been Sure?
by Christine H. Long
It could have been any hotel, such as the Park Inn or the Days Hotel in Boston, the Charles
Hotel in Cambridge, Massachusetts, or the Comfort Inn in South Portland, Maine. But it just
happened to be your hotel. It was your desk clerks who witnessed men of Middle Eastern
descent, without luggage, who asked for a room and paid with cash. One sought the
company of a lady who looked like a prostitute. Another went into your bar and had a
minor altercation with a waitress. You learned that a thick wad of cash was pulled from his
pocket and a $50 bill was left as payment.
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August 01, 2002 Reducing Your Risk: Hiring Tips (Part I)
by Christine H. Long
In generations past, many employers considered employees replaceable parts of production.
If and when those employees spoke, they spoke through a collective bargaining voice. Over
the last few decades the relationship between employer and employee has changed
dramatically. Although union memberships are on the decrease, the voice of employees is
heard through individual lawsuits. Any employer would be remiss in not recognizing the
rights of employees and their obligations as an employer in this new environment.
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August 01, 2002 Privacy Rights: Protecting Your Employees From Identity Theft
by Christine H. Long
In the 1950s, your major concern in terms of employee theft was office supplies. A few missing pens and paperclips were the price for hiring help. However, things have changed dramatically. Today, many workplace thieves are stealing a lot more than notepads; they are stealing coworkers’ identities and you may be the one held liable!
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August 01, 2002 Bailments: Hotel Liability For a Guest’s Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Property
by Christine H. Long
An irate Mrs. Smith stands before your front desk manager, questioning the where abouts of
her diamond necklace which she claims to have left in her room just hours ago. Mr. Thorn
is upset because the valet has returned his cherished Porsche convertible with a new
scratch on the driver’s door. Are you liable for these and similar mishaps?
Download PDF »