California Hospitality Resource

As part of our ongoing service and legal counsel to the hospitality industry, Berliner Cohen has create a resource for California industry leaders. All owners, executives, senior or entry-level managers can benefit with timely, informative, and educational information on the laws of the hospitality industry to guide them in the successful operation of their businesses.

California Hospitality Resource

What You Need to Know About CA Gender Neutral Workplace Policies
July 18, 2018 | Ghazaleh Modarresi

Transgender individuals are often subjected to stigma and discrimination in the workplace.  Studies show that transgender people face double the rate of unemployment as the overall population, nearly half of transgender people who applied for a job were not hired,... Read More

The Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing and Hiring
June 13, 2018 | Christine H. Long

The Dos And Don’ts Of Interviewing And Hiring All too often, the restaurant industry suffers from “warm body syndrome.” Due to the pressures of this business, food service operators are often too quick to offer a job to a person... Read More

Soft Roll-Out Code Enforcement for Hand Contact & Ready-To-Eat Foods
January 1, 2014 | 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... Read More

California Supreme Court’s Long-Awaited Decision on Meal Periods & Rest Breaks
April 13, 2012 | Christine H. Long

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... Read More

California Food Handler Law
July 1, 2011 | 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. Download PDF Read More

Those Little Buggers are Back! A Bed Bug War in Going On and Hoteliers May Be Losing
March 1, 2011 | 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... Read More

California Employers Required to Post New Workers’ Comp Notice
October 8, 2010 | 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... Read More

How An Alternative Workweek May Maximize Your Labor Costs
August 20, 2010 | 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... Read More

Federal Menu Labeling Law Preempts State and Local Laws
January 1, 2010 | 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... Read More

Worker’s Comp in the Hospitality Industry: “E-Mod” – What Is It and How Can It Be Controlle?
January 1, 2010 | 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. Download PDF Read More

California Courts Set the Framework For Lawful Tip Pooling
January 1, 2010 | 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... Read More

Workplace Crime: How to Detect and Prevent
January 1, 2010 | 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... Read More

Rules and Regulations Governing Employee Restructuring
October 1, 2009 | 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... Read More

New Legislation Gives Employers Latitude in Adjusting Employee Pay and Benefits
August 19, 2009 | Christine H. Long

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... Read More

How an Alternative Workweek May Maximize Your Labor Costs
March 23, 2009 | 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... Read More

Employers Granted Greater Flexibility on Meal and Rest Periods in Hotel and Lodging Industry
July 22, 2008 | 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... Read More

OSHA Rules Require Employer To Pay For Personal Protective Equipment
February 15, 2008 | 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... Read More

Bailments: Hotel Liability For a Guest’s Lost, Stolen or Damaged Property
August 22, 2002 | 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... Read More

Understanding With Whom You Are Doing Business
August 1, 2002 | 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... Read More

They Were Terrorists, But How Could You Have Been Sure?
August 1, 2002 | 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... Read More

Reducing Your Risk: Hiring Tips (Part I)
August 1, 2002 | 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... Read More

Privacy Rights: Protecting Your Employees From Identity Theft
August 1, 2002 | 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... Read More

Bailments: Hotel Liability For a Guest’s Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Property
April 22, 2002 | 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... Read More