Operations

Operations News

11 Questions About Music Licensing

Under law, restaurants must make sure to have the necessary licensing to comply with copyright statutes before playing music..

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Paid Sick Leave for Portland and Likely Eugene Too

Despite opposition from many businesses and industry leaders, Portland’s paid sick leave is now law, effective January 1, 2014. Establishments need to understand the new law and how it affects their businesses.

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Are Automatic Gratuities Considered Tips?

The IRS’ revised Ruling 2012-18 draws a sharper distinction between tips and service charges. Businesses need to comply with previous guidance on the proper treatment of tips and service charges.

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Bill for Statewide Paid Sick Leave Policy Dies

House Bill 3390, which would have allowed certain employees to accrue 56 hours of paid sick leave a year, died in a June hearing. An interim work group will be created with the goal of introducing legislation next year.

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Gun Control on Premises

With the recent gun violence sweeping across the nation, ORLA has received a number of questions on whether restaurateurs can ban guns on their private property. As private property and business owners, our members should be able to legally bar or allow guns on their premises. Currently, unlike Washington and California, Oregon has no laws regarding whether carriers of concealed weapons can be in a bar or not.

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Bare Hand Contact Wiped from New Food Code Rules

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced last week the new Food Code “No Bare Hand Contact” provision is being removed from the proposed food code rules. The double handwashing rule will be reinserted in the rules which go into effect September 4, 2012.

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Fighting for Tip Pooling

Tip Pooling has become a legal spiderweb, given the complicated state-by-state variations. In a recent move to further clarify the law, restaurant industry trade associations have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on behalf of restaurants and restaurant employees who share in tips and participate in tip pools.

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New Use for Brown Grease: Turning Waste into a Commodity

By now, everyone knows about turning yellow grease from restaurants into Biodiesel and that Biodiesel companies pay restaurants for their used grease. Soon Biogas will be biologically produced using an enclosed anaerobic digestion process that will process food waste generated by commercial businesses like restaurants and grocery stores in the Metro and surrounding region.

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New ADA Bar Countertops Requirements

The new ADA rules require bar countertops to have an accessible section available for disabled patrons. However, restaurants are now able to substitute accessible tables instead of lowering a section of the bar.

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DOL Targets Oregon in Enforcement Audits

ORLA participated in a conference call with the US Department of Labor (DOL) to discuss increased enforcement audits in the Ninth Circuit jurisdiction, which includes Oregon. By now most foodservice operators are aware that the DOL issued a Field Assistance Bulletin at the end of February stating that tip pooling could not be extended to back of the house employees. This change is in direct conflict to the Woody Woo case of more than a year ago which allowed expanded tip pools, if a tip credit is not taken.

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ADA Pool Lift Compromise Secured

The White House issued just yesterday a 60-day extension pushing the compliance deadline for pool lift requirements. DOJ will also publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with a 15-day comment period on a possible 6-month extension to allow time to address misunderstandings regarding ADA compliance with these requirements. This response is a direct result of AH&LA and the industry's collective strength and pressure on Congress. See ORLA's Compliance page for resources.

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Will ID Checkers Need Required Training?

When laws for private security training were developed, as per the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training, ORLA held the position that basic functions or responsibilities of a liquor licensee should be exempt from training and DPSST certification. In the final statute, persons performing crowd management or guest services, are not required to undergo DPSST training, provided these persons are unarmed and not hired with the primary responsibility of taking enforcement action.

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Service Animals Clarification

Often businesses such as stores and restaurants have policies that can exclude people with disabilities. For example, a “no pets” policy may result in staff excluding people with disabilities who use dogs as service animals. A clear policy permitting service animals can help ensure that staff are aware of their obligation to allow access to customers using service animals and to disallow access to customers bringing in pets.

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Waiving Meal Periods Law Protected

Federal Law allows for shortened or flexible break times as long as the employee is compensated for any breaks that are not at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted work time. This is an important issue concerning our industry, as the main objective of the server is to earn tips and not the hourly wage they are paid.

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Bed Bugs

Bed bugs are becoming a frustrating pest to deal with, especially for hotels. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now have a number of resources available online that address treatment and prevention. ORLA is working closely with the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and is taking a proactive approach to ensure members are educated on how to address and prevent Bed Bugs. See the latest OHA fact sheet.

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