Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

December 4 roundup

Wage and hour roundup

  • After Target, under pressure from activists, announced a $15 companywide minimum wage, “workers say they’ve had their hours cut and lost other benefits, such as health insurance.” [Eric Boehm, Reason]
  • New Chicago scheduling ordinance is “the ultimate intrusion of government in the workplace.” [Chicago Tribune editorial; Allen Smith, SHRM; Fisher Phillips]
  • “As predicted, the $15 wage is killing jobs all across the city” [New York Post editorial; Billy Binion, Reason; Michael Saltsman and Samantha Summers, Crain’s New York letter (defenders of hike playing fast and loose with numbers) ]
  • The Federalist Society held a teleforum with Tammy McCutchen of Littler Mendelson on the lower courts’ reception of the Supreme Court’s decision one year ago in Encino Motorcars on FLSA interpretation [earlier]
  • By next year I expect Left Twitter to be asserting in the alternative that this famous Seattle restaurant 1) never existed, 2) remains open and has no plans to close, and 3) was sunk by issues unrelated to the minimum wage. [Jason Rantz, KTTH (Sitka & Spruce)] More on restaurants: Legal Insurrection (closure of West Coast chain); Tyler Cowen (NBER working paper on what kinds of restaurants are most likely to be affected);
  • “In the past five years, nearly two-thirds of companies have faced at least one labor and employment class action and, overwhelmingly, companies report that wage and hour matters are their top concern in this category.” [Insurance Journal, Carlton Fields Class Action Survey]

Competitor’s objection stalls San Francisco falafel shop

Unlike most cities, San Francisco follows a land use practice called “discretionary review,” which “allows anybody to appeal any permit for any reason (or no reason) and force a public hearing in front of the famously arbitrary Planning Commission.” A falafel shop wanted an ordinarily straightforward change of use permit to open in a vacant storefront on Castro Street, but an incumbent gyro shop on the same block filed an objection which will succeed in delaying the opening for months. The whole episode “encapsulates everything wrong with San Francisco’s permitting process.” [Dana Beuschel, Medium] Update: newcomer prevails for now, but maybe because not enough commissioners showed up at the meeting to pronounce a “no.”

September 25 roundup

  • “Small claims court for copyright” idea, now moving rapidly through Congress, could create a new business model for troll claimants [Mike Masnick, TechDirt; EFF on CASE Act] A contrasting view: Robert VerBruggen, NR;
  • “If Boston is weirdly NOT full of good restaurant/bar/cafes for its size, and if people don’t want to stay after they hit 26 or so, these throttled [liquor] licenses are one of the real structural reasons why.” [Amanda Katz Twitter thread]
  • Push in California underway to join a trend I warned of five years ago, namely states’ enacting laws to encourage tax informants with a share of the loot [McDermott Will and Emery, National Law Review]
  • Baltimore food truck rule challenge, single-member districts, sexting prosecution, and more in my new Free State Notes roundup;
  • “For years the Westchester County DA, Jeanine Pirro, now a Fox News host who opines on justice, rejected Deskovic’s requests to compare the DNA evidence against a criminal database. Deskovic was not exonerated until 2006, after he had served 16 years” [Jacob Sullum, Reason]
  • Come again? “Louisville judge rules Kentucky speed limit laws unconstitutional” [Marcus Green, WDRB]

Disabled rights roundup

August 7 roundup

  • “We got nailed once because someone barehanded a bag of lettuce without a glove.” Kitchen-eye tales of NYC’s restaurant inspection regime [Saxon Baird, NY Eater]
  • Positive reviews for new HUD regs on housing discrimination, affordability, and supply [National Review: Roger Clegg; Salim Furth]
  • Sony isn’t making its robot companion dog available in Illinois because its facial recognition features fall under the state’s onerous Biometric Information Privacy Act; an earlier in-state casualty was Google’s “which museum portrait is your selfie like?” service [Megan Wollerton, CNet, earlier here and here] Is there any hope of slowing down the rush of class action suits filed under the law? [Chris Burt, Biometric Update]
  • Victory on a-peel: “3rd Circuit rules maker of banana costume is entitled to ‘fruits of its intellectual labor'” [ABA Journal, earlier here, etc.]
  • D.C. Circuit “Rips ‘Legal Artifice’ in Kasowitz Firm’s Megabillions Whistleblower Case” [Dan Packel, The American Lawyer; Cory Andrews, WLF]
  • Congress passes a law framed as pro-veteran, doesn’t take the time to spell out quite how it works, years later we meet the (presumably unintended) losers in the form of nonprofits that employ blind and deaf workers [Julie Havlak, Carolina Journal, quotes me]

Do loud restaurants violate the ADA rights of persons with hearing impairment?

“High-ambient noise levels pose an access barrier, just as curbs pose an access barrier for wheelchairs,” claims “a retired Los Angeles doctor [and] noise activist” quoted in the Washington Post, speaking of restaurants, though his principle might if valid apply to other sorts of entertainment venues and businesses as well. While some activists hope his view of the Americans with Disabilities Act will prevail, others doubt that courts will go along. [Debra Cassens Weiss, ABA Journal]

Minimum wage roundup

In the Washington Post on the Maryland minimum wage

New from me and Cato colleague Ryan Bourne in the Washington Post:

One thing we’ve learned in this year’s debate over a statewide $15 minimum wage, now set to become law after the legislature overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) veto today, is that affluent central Maryland doesn’t want to listen to hard-hit rural Maryland….

In the debate over the $15 minimum wage, lawmakers from [already high-wage] Montgomery County, Baltimore City and Howard County were nearly unanimously in favor, with most delegates supporting strong versions of the scheme. Meanwhile, most lawmakers from depressed parts of the state were passionately opposed.

Guess who had the numbers to outvote whom?…

Affluent sections of Maryland can vote for $15 without much worry that a large share of their job base will disappear. Poor counties can’t.

Whole thing here (update: unpaywalled version). Related: Highly informative Jacob Vigdor/Russ Roberts interview on the Seattle studies, and on the strategies that employers (restaurants in particular) use to adjust [David Henderson, Econlib] More on the problems of applying a uniform law to portions of the country with seriously different wage levels and costs of living [Daniel McLaughlin, NRO] Some observations of mine at an earlier stage of the Maryland debate [Free State Notes] Ryan Bourne on adjustments at Whole Foods following its accession under political pressure to a $15 minimum [Cato].

“Man Locked in Burger King Bathroom for an Hour Wants Free Whoppers for Life”

By most injury-suit standards, it’s hardly exorbitant: “Curtis Brooner is only seeking $9,026.16. That is still a lot given the nature of the alleged injury, namely being locked for an hour in the bathroom of a Burger King in Wood Village, Oregon. … Here, though, it’s not the amount but how it was calculated: Mr. Brooner is demanding the equivalent of one Whopper meal per week for the duration of his remaining life expectancy, which he and his attorney estimate will be another 22 years.” [Kevin Underhill, Lowering the Bar]