And we’re off…

On January 4th we officially kicked off the 2016 California legislature year and as we look ahead there are still some key bills that have yet to be decided…

Minimum Wage:

This would increase the state minimum wage to $11 in 2016 (right now!) and then to $13 in 2017. From 2019 onward, the wage increases would be fixed annually with no proposed expiration date and it does not allow for total compensation to include tipped employees. We are currently working on several non-tipping payroll models to help our clients make an informed decision on how to navigate these issues.

Cocktail Tax:

Adds a five cents per person, per drink tax on cocktails. This would apply to all distilled spirits and appear as a line item on the guest check. This tax would help fund transportation and supported living programs for people with developmental disabilities. The targeting of the restaurant industry is in question here, especially with the already rising costs of dining out.

And now, the defeated bills:

Restrictive Scheduling

Requires restaurants with more than 500 employees in CA or a minimum of ten locations across the country to offer a fixed two week schedule for all employees, Sweetened Beverage Tax, which places an additional two cent per ounce tax on all sweetened beverages – bottled or fountain, and Seafood Menu Labels, which forces any establishment selling seafood to label all their menus with the name of the species and no longer allows for the use of state-approved names.

We will continue to update you on these and many other issues affecting our industry in the coming year. Please feel free to contact us if we can be of any assistance.