FordHarrison's Restaurant Industry Practice Group is comprised of attorneys with extensive knowledge and experience working with restaurant clients of all sizes, whether they are a nationwide multi-unit operator, a regional franchisee or a family-owned single establishment. In addition, our lawyers are active in national, state and local restaurant and hospitality trade associations, including the National Restaurant Association.
Our Restaurant Industry Practice Group partners with our restaurant clients on all labor, employment, and human resources related issues, including the following:
- Discrimination, Retaliation and Harassment claims before local, state and federal agencies, such as those filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state departments of human rights.
- Wage and Hour, including compliance with local, state and federal statutes and regulations regarding minimum wage, tip credit, tip outs/pools, service charges, overtime, working off the clock, meals and breaks, waiting and "on call" time, reporting time pay, split shifts, uniforms/dress codes/appearance standards, child labor, wage deductions, employee classifications and exempt status issues.
- ADA Title III Accessibility, including helping restaurants defend against access claims and also comply with specific requirements related to architectural standards for new and altered buildings, reasonable modifications to policies, practices, and procedures; effective communication with people with hearing, vision or speech disabilities; and other access requirements. Our attorneys also help clients devise ADA compliance implementation plans.
- Complex Litigation, including wage and hour, equal pay, and discrimination class and collective action cases.
- Labor Relations. Our lawyers can help you maintain a union-free workplace through positive employee relations training, best practices, and strategic winning campaigns. For unionized restaurant employers, we effectively negotiate favorable terms for collective bargaining agreements, handle arbitrations, help deal with work stoppages or strikes, and defend against unfair labor practice charges.
- Training in key areas such as discrimination and harassment (including specific state-mandated training); diversity and sensitivity in the workplace; effective hiring, discipline and discharge practices; FMLA/ADA/workers' compensation interplay; wage and hour regulations; benefits, immigration and all aspects of human resources.
- Leaves of Absence, Disability Accommodation. Our lawyers can help you successfully manage any leave related issues such as navigating through the always changing FMLA, providing reasonable accommodations under the ADA, or returning employees to work following workers' compensation claims.
- Immigration, including I-9 compliance and responding to ICE audits and investigations, which often require an expedited and expert response.
- Workplace Safety, from OSHA compliance and investigations to workplace violence to emergency preparedness policies and training.
- Employee Benefits needs, whether they relate to ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA, qualified retirement plans, nonqualified executive compensation or welfare benefits.