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|Articles - January 2011|
|Thursday, December 16, 2010|
A recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that allows food service employers in Oregon and Washington to require employees to participate in a “tip pool” is being welcomed by the industry but not some workers.
A Vita Café server sued the Portland restaurant in 2009 in protest of the pool in effect at the time. The ruling will allow restaurants to redistribute some of servers’ tips without violating federal wage and hour law. Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association spokesman Bill Perry says the ruling gives restaurant owners another way to get around additional costs such as the minimum wage increase effective this month when Oregon’s minimum wage will go up 10 cents to $8.50 an hour. But the server community is worried about the ruling’s implications. “We’re not against tip pooling,” Portland Restaurant Workers Association spokesman Jim Nolan says. “We just think the power to make that decision should be the worker’s, not mandated by the employer.”
Though most servers balk at a system that seems to be a disincentive to provide good service, Perry asserts tip pooling is beneficial to a business as a whole. “Some servers will see themselves as a ‘wage earners’ rather than a ‘commission salesperson,’” he says.“[But] it does give restaurant owners a new management tool.”
With the tip pool, restaurant owners can lower base wages of employees who often are not tipped out, such as cooks, and supplement their wages with tips that are typically distributed to servers. This can help lower prices and keep customers, Perry says.
Randy Capron, maitre d’ of Huber’s, Portland’s oldest restaurant, sees the practice as effectively lowering server pay. “You’re walking away with an 8% not a 20% tip.” Capron says.
The full implications of the ruling for the restaurant and hospitality industry are still unclear. Hospitality law expert Greg Duff recently wrote on his blog: “The short answer is ... that employers in Washington and Oregon may initiate mandatory tip pools under certain circumstances.”
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Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
The Board dismissed a petition related to efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team.
Every once in a while we receive a letter in the (fictional) mailbag that is tough to describe and quite compelling. This week, Isabel, the new HR manager at LabCo (and someone who is new to HR), wants to know whether she may fire the owner’s son for having an Oregon medical marijuana card. In passing, Isabel also makes a number of alarming admissions about her motivation. Here is Isabel’s nerve-racking question and our response to it.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.
Forty-eight Lane Powell lawyers were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® (Best Lawyers) 2016; of those selected, 21 are from the Firm’s office in Portland, Oregon.