Operating a Restaurant Within the Law: A 101 in Compliance (Part II)
by JenniferD, Community Moderator
- Created: April 8, 2010, 7:24 am
- Updated: December 5, 2011, 2:29 pm
From labor laws to food safety laws and new regulations such as no smoking laws, understanding and achieving compliance with legal and regulatory requirements can have a big effect on the success of a restaurant operation.
Earlier this week I posted part one (focusing on minimum wage, tips, and overtime) in this two-part overview of the federal regulations that impact restaurateurs and links to where yo;ll find more guidance.
This second post focuses on how your restaurant business can understand and achieve compliance with the laws that pertain to youth labor, immigration, food safety and taxes.
Restaurant-Specific Labor Laws
While there are many resources in SBA.gov's Employment Labor Law Guide that help small business owners understand and comply with labor and employment laws, the areas of labor law that are particularly relevant to the restaurant business are child and teen labor laws.
Working minors (under the age of 18) are entitled to the same minimum pay and overtime protections as adults, but they are subject to federal youth employment provisions that limit their work hours and restrict some of the tasks that they can do. You can get more information about employing youth workers at www.youthrules.dol.gov.
If you want to find out quickly and easily whether you are compliant with labor laws, use this quick Restaurant Employer Self Assessment Tool. The tool helps employers comply with the youth employment provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. I-s a handy way of preventing problems and achieving compliance.Read more about employing minors from SBA.gov.
While health codes vary depending on location, all codes require restaurants to safely handle, store and prepare food. You must obtain a permit from your local environmental health department certifying that your restaurant has met county, state and federal requirements. You’ll need to submit an application around a month prior to opening. They will also require employees to maintain good hygiene. Restaurants are usually inspected once every two years after opening.
Be sure to get a copy of your local health codes, and refer to it frequently to ensure compliance.
Working with Immigrants
The restaurant industry is in the spotlight when it comes to complying with immigration laws. With immigrants representing 10% of all workers employed in food service and preparation, you're going to need to know about the immigration laws that affect your business.Read SBA'gov's guide to Foreign Workers, Immigration and Employee Eligibility can help.
Taxes and Restaurant Owners
The IRS' Restaurants Tax Center provides advice, guidance and links to the forms yo'll need to stay on top of record keeping, reporting employee tips, and tax forms.
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