Restaurant labor laws are an important consideration in just about every aspect of restaurant management. Whether you’re hiring, firing, setting wages, or scheduling shifts, it’s important to pay close attention to how labor compliance laws should affect the decisions you make.
Failing to comply can expose you to unnecessary risk and bring about legal and ethical issues. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re aware of all the relevant regulations; and understand how they affect your industry, business, and employees.
Here are a few tips that will help keep you up to date:
1 - Sign up for compliance newsletters.
Newsletters are a great way to stay up to date with changing labor laws that may affect your business. Government and compliance websites are a great place to start.
For example, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regularly publishes its own newsletter, which provides helpful information on the latest regulatory changes. For more localized information, you can also check your state’s DOL website for press releases and “media rooms.”
2 - Join the Society of Human Resource Management.
Becoming a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) gives you access to a variety of guides, and articles intended to help you stay up-to-date and compliant with relevant labor laws.
In addition to information on labor laws, the SHRM also has many management tools to help you stay compliant. These tools have the sole purpose of making the task of managing your staff easier and more efficient. The SHRM also hosts events, conferences, seminars, and workshops for their members that cover specific topics.
3 - Join social groups that specialize in restaurant labor laws.
If you’re looking to connect with other local business owners and managers, consider joining a few social groups in your area that specialize in labor compliance laws. These groups may be especially helpful if your local laws are undergoing significant changes.
Attending industry events and workshops can help put you in touch with experts and guide you to the right information. Participating in these events can help you understand not only what regulations exist, but also how to go about complying with them.
4 - Assign a labor law compliance officer.
The most effective way to ensure you’re complying with all relevant restaurant labor laws is to assign a compliance officer. This can be a person or a software provider.
Compliance software may be a standalone program or part of an HR software suite. These programs can help you monitor whether or not you’re adhering to laws relating to wages, health and safety, work hours, days off, and other regulations.
In order to find the software that will be most relevant and helpful to you, look for an online payroll service or program specializing in restaurant regulations and management.
5 - Set dates for changes and plan ahead.
When it comes to compliance, it’s best to be proactive rather than reactive. Keeping track of upcoming changes to restaurant labor compliance laws through newsletters, social groups, and other resources will allow you to plan ahead and keep your employees in the loop.
Planning ahead allows you to set dates for when you’ll begin implementing new policies and discuss with your staff how best to make the necessary changes.
Keeping up with labor compliance laws can be tricky and time-consuming unless you know where to find the best and most up-to-date information. It’s often a good idea to use a variety of tools and resources. This is the best way to cover your bases and ensure you have enough time to plan ahead.
Want to ensure you are adhering to labor laws? Download our free labor law checklist below! Created specifically for California business owners, but applicable to many.