Understand Your Local Restaurant Employment Laws
When you run a restaurant, the employment laws that affect your business are very important. There are local, state and federal laws that must be understood and followed exactly. These laws were implemented to protect employees so that they are not overworked or underpaid. If you ignore these laws, you can easily find yourself facing fines, lawsuits or closing down. As a business owner you can imagine the impact this would have on your financial state and the success of your establishment.
Most of the laws that you encounter will have something to do with the wages of your employees. Specifically, there are laws that govern minimum wage, as well as overtime pay. These laws are designed to prevent an employer from forcing an employee to work for wages that are unreasonably low for the work performed, or for asking them to work excessive hours without adequate compensation.
There is a federal minimum wage law, but many states have enacted their own minimum wage laws. While this can be higher than the federal law, it can never be lower. Minimum wage for some food service employees can be different than for other food service employees, so you will need to know the laws governing each staff position. Overtime pay guarantees that any employee that works over forty hours a week will be paid more than their hourly rate. This prevents employers from making their employees work long and excessive hours without fair compensation.
If you opt to employ minors in your business, you will need to become familiar with the laws that protect them at the workplace. Minors cannot be expected to handle a typical work schedule. They will have special regulations about when they can work, how long they can work, and what they are allowed to do while they are working.
Unlike many other employment laws, laws regarding minors are not federally based. Therefore, each state can determine which laws are suitable for them and implement them accordingly. This means that a minor may have a different working schedule in one state than they would in another. In some cases, a minor is only allowed to work until a specified time of night. After that hour, they are not allowed to be on duty. These laws were established so that their job would not interfere with school hours. This is also why many states regulate the number of hours a minor can work per week. Some things that a legal aged employee may do at work, a minor cannot do. These things are based on other laws, as well as the safety of the minor while performing these tasks. For example, although it is obvious, a minor is not allowed to serve alcoholic drinks.
If you plan on running a food service business, you must keep up with the laws and regulations pertaining to your business. You will be working with a lot of different employees in the course of your career, therefore you will want to make sure that they are all being treated fairly according to the law. In this way you will never have to face problems resulting from failure to comply with the law.