“The FDA may soon have the power to criminally charge restaurant owners who fail to publicly post calorie information on menus.” New Cato podcast with Ike Brannon, discussing his article with Sam Batkins in the Summer edition of Regulation. Earlier here, here, here, here, and here.
If the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) succeeds in its aim of holding franchisors legally liable for labor law violations by franchisees, it’s likely to upend the terms on which small and fledgling operators gain access to marketplace opportunities through franchising [Lydia DePillis, Washington Post]
A Shelton, Ct. restaurant has paid $18,000 to settle a lawsuit over the playing of nine copyrighted songs on its premises; an owner says he thinks a private party played them. “If a band plays a cover song for which the bar has no license, the bar is legally liable, according to BMI and ASCAP,” the two musicians’-rights consortiums that make a practice of suing venues. [Hartford Business]
Lawsuits alleging the finding of extraneous objects in food are rather common; lawsuits demanding that mass-market food items be inspected for such, less so [Chicago Tribune via Kyle White, Abnormal Use]:
The suit contends that McDonald’s employees failed to inspect and test the Chicken McNugget in question for bone fragments prior to serving it to Anderson.
You’d think that would help solve the problem of how to keep employment up at the fast-food chain after the robot cashiers take over. But not so fast — turns out there are chicken x-ray machines.
For a seasonal posting in Park City, Utah, Ruby Tuesday invited only female associates to apply as servers, citing a wish not to require males and females to room together in the company-provided housing it had lined up (and no doubt swayed at least in part by legal risks to which it would be exposed by doing so). Expensive lesson: in a settlement with the EEOC, it will pay $100,000 to two male servers who say they wanted a summer assignment at the resort. [Daily Times]
- “Oakland minimum-wage hike puts child caregivers in a jam” [Rachel Swan, San Francisco Chronicle]
- “Why Minimum Wage Increases are a Terrible Anti-Poverty Program” [Coyote, parts one and two] More: David Neumark;
- “[Robert] Reich Is Wrong on the Minimum Wage” [Don Boudreaux, Cato; more]
- “Marvel At The Effects Of The Minimum Wage In San Francisco” [Tim Worstall on Comix Experience comics shop]
- “Can Republicans Stick to Their Principles on the Minimum Wage?” [Michael Tanner]
- “To see the effects of the minimum wage hike, follow the pho” [Thanh Tan, Seattle Times] “Owner of pizza shop says new Seattle minimum wage law is forcing her to close” [KCPQ, David Henderson] “Minimum Wage Hikes and Restaurants: Who Gains? Who Loses?” Brian Doherty; Michael Saltsman, W$J]
- “The evidence that the most disadvantaged of society are those most [harmed] by minimum-wage legislation is abundant” [Philip Coelho and James McClure via David Henderson]
- Lefty argument du jour: government benefits for working poor subsidize low-wage employers. Oh? [Adam Ozimek via Tyler Cowen] Similarly: Tim Worstall; Michael Strain, WaPo; Coyote;
- “OSHA’s Latest Reporting and Recordkeeping Mandates: More Burdens with Few Benefits” [Eric J. Conn, Washington Legal Foundation]
- “EEOC: New York City owes underpaid minority female employees $246 million” [NY Daily News, NY Post (“de Blasio administration offered no evidence to contest the charges, the commission said”), Jon Hyman]
- Will the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal require countries to adopt minimum wage laws? [Simon Lester, Cato]
- House hearing on Obama executive order blacklisting contractors over labor violations in unrelated areas of their business, or at subcontractors [witnesses and testimony, Walberg statement, press release, video, SHRM]
- Sixth Circuit retaliation decision confirms need for kid-glove handling of employees who file discrimination complaints [Jon Hyman]
- Spontaneous protest doesn’t come cheap: SEIU spent $24 million in 2014 on fast food/retail wage movement [WLS Chicago 7]
- If the law was symbolic, consumers were apparently unswayed by its symbolism: L.A. zoning ban on new freestanding fast-food restaurants had no effect on obesity [The Guardian, NPR, Baylen Linnekin, earlier]
- More on draft new federal dietary guidelines: “Report lays groundwork for food ‘interventionists’ in schools, workplaces” [Sarah Westwood, Washington Examiner, earlier, public comment open through April 8]
- Opposition to GMOs is not humanitarian [Telegraph] Washington Post editorial rejects labeling on GMO foods;
- Baker fell afoul of French law by keeping his boulangerie open too often [Arbroath]
- A sentiment open to doubt: “There is a great need for lawyers to utilize their policy and litigation tools in the fight for a better food system.” [Melanie Pugh, Food Safety News]
- “Food policy” progressives “whistle same tune as large food producers on issue of food safety” [Baylen Linnekin, related on single-agency scheme, more Linnekin on competition-through-regulation among makers of wine corks]
- Why restaurant operators need to know about patent trolls [James Bickers, Fast Casual]
Obama wage-hour chief David Weil told the Wall Street Journal that leaders of the National Retail Federation approached him urging a hike in the federal minimum wage. Apparently readers are meant to infer that this policy is so obviously fair, or overdue, or beneficial to the national economy, that even big business leaders who will be paying the higher wages favor it. The anecdote is not even the tiniest bit paradoxical, however, once you realize that major national retail operators already tend to pay over the minimum and wouldn’t mind kneecapping their smaller, less-established, or lower-margin competitors who don’t [WSJ and blog, Donald Boudreaux, Tim Worstall]
Meanwhile: “More Seattle restaurants close doors as $15 minimum wage approaches” If only anyone could have predicted! [Shift WA via J.A. Cohen] But note this Seattle Times piece in which the owners of the four closing restaurants say the wage hike wasn’t the reason.
“A woman dining alone on Valentine’s Day has filed a $100,000 lawsuit against the Northeast Portland restaurant she tried to eat at claiming they were rude and upset her.” She is representing herself. [Oregonian]