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GOV'T AFFAIRS

STAFF CONTACT

Sarah R. Bratko, Esq. 

Vice President of Advocacy and General Counsel

401-223-1120, ext. 115

Sarah@rihospitality.org

LEGISLATIVE UPDATES

As you are aware, in May, New York City announced its plans to begin enforcing menu labeling requirements on August 21, 2017 – more than 9 months ahead of the federal government’s compliance date of May 7, 2018.  The Advocacy Strategy Committee of the National Restaurant Association Board of Directors authorized the Association to pursue a vigorous legal strategy in response to New York City’s efforts.  Thus, as we updated you previously, the Restaurant Law Center partnered with the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) to file an industry-supported lawsuit against New York City.  A component of our legal strategy is to seek a preliminary injunction to prevent New York City from enforcing the law on August 21.   

On Monday of this week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) weighed in to support our case by filing a Statement of Interest arguing that the City should not enforce menu labeling rules ahead of federal implementation.

Yesterday, the judge met with both parties in Chambers to discuss the suit.  The result of the conversation was that the New York City Health Department agreed to delay enforcement of the menu labeling requirements until August 25.  This delay was at the request of the judge to allow both parties time to negotiate a long-term agreement for aligning the City’s enforcement efforts with the federal compliance date in 2018.   

Next Steps

Now that the Court has expressed its opinion, the timeframe for next steps is as follows:

Monday, August 21 – Original date for New York City’s enforcement has been delayed.

Thursday, August 24 – Deadline set by the Court to allow all parties to reach agreement on enforcement outside of the court process.

Friday, August 25 New enforcement deadline by the Court, IF both parties cannot reach an agreement about how to move forward.

If we cannot reach an agreement with New York City, there will be a hearing on Friday, August 25 on the Restaurant Law Center’s motion for a preliminary injunction to delay enforcement.  

We are encouraged by the Court’s actions yesterday, and we will continue to seek the best resolution for our industry.  As this timeline progresses, we will continue to keep you updated.


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List of Articles
No. Subject Author Datesort
51 Health Care: FLSA Exchange Notice Temporary Guidance Released file Monika Jun 21, 2013
  The Department of Labor (DOL) released temporary guidance regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) notice required by the health care law that employers subject to the FLSA provide notice of the exchanges to their employees. DOL has ...  
50 Report on Sales and Taxation of Alcoholic Beverages in Rhode Islan file Monika Jun 21, 2013
  A state law enacted in June 2012 requires the Tax Administrator to provide such a report on or before May 1 of each year to the chairs of the House and Senate Finance Committees. The inaugural report was posted today. Please download atta...  
49 Did You Know? Monika Jun 21, 2013
The Rhode Island Hospitality Association is working for you. Our Lobbyists and staff have spent over 500 hours on key legislation in an effort to promote your interest, as a member of the local hospitality industry, and to safeguard your bu...  
48 Hiring Teens (under 18 years of age) - what you need to know file Monika Jun 21, 2013
    Connecting Youth and Business: A Toolkit for Employers<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /> http://www.dol.gov/summerjobs/pdf/Toolkit.pdf   READ THIS If You're Hiring Minors This Summer! http://www...  
47 HEALTH CARE LAW AND YOU file Monika Sep 17, 2013
What Employers Need to Do   Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which was approved by Congress and signed into law March 23, 2010, employers, including restaurants, are required to keep records proving they notifie...  
46 Advocates Gearing Up For Another Try at Plastic Bag Ban Monika Sep 17, 2013
Backers of a plastic bag ban have been busy collecting petition signatures this summer. Environment Rhode Island says it has amassed ten thousand signatures urging the General Assembly to take up the issue once again. Rhode Island would have...  
45 AH&LA Letter to Congress and the President file Monika Oct 16, 2013
The American Hotel & Lodging Association sent Congress and the President the following letter: AHLA Letter.pdf    October 10, 2013 President Barack Obama Members of the United States House of Representatives Members of the United States...  
44 Legislative Affairs Committee - are you interested in serving? file Monika Oct 16, 2013
Are you interested in serving on our Legislative Affairs Committee?  This group reviews all legislation that is submitted as well as determining what legislation we should sponsor.   Our meetings are held at the Association office in Cranst...  
43 Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement Update Monika Oct 31, 2013
We have received several calls regarding the  Payment Card Interchange Fee Settlement and what the next steps are if you want to file a claim and join this class action lawsuit. At this point nothing has been finalized as the Judge is still...  
42 Biweekly Pay Proposed Regulations file Monika Oct 31, 2013
Please review the attached rule making notice. Let us know if you have concerns or comments. Biweekly Pay Regulations Proposed Final.pdf  
41 LODGING INDUSTRY URGES SENATE TO ACT AGAINST PATENT TROLLS file Monika Nov 08, 2013
Frivolous claims target small businesses unable to fight expensive lawsuits  Washington, D.C. – November 6, 2013 – In advance of tomorrow’s hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee at which members will discuss t...  
40 Senate OKs $11-Per Hour Minimum Wag Bill- MASSACHUSETTS Monika Nov 22, 2013
BOSTON -- The Senate voted 32-7 on Tuesday to increase the state's minimum wage by $3 over the next three years to $11 an hour, approving legislation that would give Massachusetts the highest minimum wage in the country. Massachusetts curren...  
39 RI fast food workers fight for $15 file Monika Nov 22, 2013
  A direct action inside a Wendy's in Warwick today was Rhode Island's first in the nationwide Fight For 15 effort to unionize fast food workers. But it won't be the last, organizers said. Expect more local protests and more fast food worke...  
38 Hospitality - 2014 new legal obligations file Monika Jan 10, 2014
Tip-vs.-wage changes. On January 1, 2014 a new IRS rule took effect regarding automatically added gratuities.  It basically states that any gratuities added to guest checks (such as an 18% gratuity added for large parties) will no longer be ...  
37 RI - Labor to lobby for higher minimum wage in R.I. Monika Jan 10, 2014
Rhode Island's minimum wage rose to $8 an hour on Wednesday, but organized labor says it will call on  lawmakers to raise it even higher in the legislative session that opens Tuesday. George Nee, president of the Rhode Island AFL-CIO, said h...  
36 Probation & Parole offices downtown Providence file Monika Jan 10, 2014
Director Richard A. Licht of the state Department of Administration said that the department will seek fresh proposals to relocate the Office of Probation and Parole rather than move it to a downtown site at 40 Fountain St.   RI Hospitality ...  
35 Candidate Taveras Calls for Increase in Minimum Wage- others join in file Monika Jan 31, 2014
The race for Rhode Island governor turned into something of a race t o be the champion of the minimum-wage increase Thursday among leading Democratic contenders. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, a Democratic candidate for governor, proposed T...  
34 Survey from the Governor's Office file Monika Jan 31, 2014
Please take a few minutes to fill out this survey to insure that we have input from our industry . Dear Business Leader: Please find attached a letter asking for your input on state regulations that may be a burden on your business. To faci...  
33 Plastic Bag Ban Bill Introduced Again file Monika Jan 31, 2014
Efforts to make Rhode Island the first state with a bag ban recently took a step forward. For the second straight year, Rep. Maria Cimini, D-Providence, has sponsored the Plastic Waste Reduction Act, a bill that would ban retailers from off...  
32 RIHA Testifies- Genetically Modified Organisms to be labeled file Monika Jan 31, 2014
RIHA testifies on H 7093- This bill would require that food and food products derived from or containing genetically modified organisms be labeled as such by the manufacturer, retailer or other person before putting it on the market for sal...