On January 20th, acting Mayor Cavalier Johnson signed into law an ordinance regarding masks in public spaces.
The WRA has communicated our numerous concerns to all members of the common council, as well as Mayor Johnson, including the chilling effect the mask mandate would have on business in the city with the likelihood that visitors will head to surrounding communities where there are no mandates in place - as well as the impact the mask mandate would have on employees.
What should you do to comply with this new order? Our advice to operators is to simply do 2 things:
YOUR INVITATION TO BID
On occasion the Department's Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement Unit confiscates contraband alcohol beverages. The DOR is authorized to sell the confiscated product to the highest bidder. These sales consist of 1,356 bottles of Taxed Wine. Many times, bottles sell well below wholesale price.
Bids will be accepted from either a wholesale Permittee or persons licensed to sell wine at retail (Class A or B Liquor License). Sealed bids must be received at 265 W Northland Ave., Appleton, WI not later than January 31, 2022. Bid opening at 9:00 am on February 1, 2022. Successful bidder must pick up product by February 18, 2022. Product is located in Madison, WI.
Click here for more information on how to seal your bid.
The “emergency temporary standard” (ETS) issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the US Department of Labor has been stayed by the US Supreme Court, pending the final outcome of the cases in the lower courts.
This ruling does not affect an individual restaurants ability to have their own vaccine requirements in their own operations. Rather, this says that the Federal Government does not have the power to regulate public health in such a broad fashion.
In short, this ruling means that there currently is not a vaccine mandate in place for employers. WRA will keep you posted with any new developments.
On Dec. 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made recommendations regarding isolation quarantine protocols in the event of COVID-19 infection or being exposed to it. This recent change to guidance should be noted so you can adjust and update your policies accordingly.
Click More Info below for the latest guidance from the National Restaurant Association and the CDC.
For businesses who applied for COVID-related employee retention tax credits (ERTC) in 2021, there may be a severe cash flow challenge occurring for those waiting an average 6 to 10 months to receive the ERTC payment.
Under ERTC rules, an eligible restaurant cannot take normal federal tax deductions for 1) payroll expenses and 2) healthcare group benefit expenses during the applicable calendar quarter if those payments were considered eligible wages for ERTC. While this increases the restaurant’s tax liability, the restaurant would have those costs more than offset by an ERTC payment.
However, the restaurant may face a liquidity crisis if the federal tax bill is due before receiving an ERTC payment. Members are advised to plan for this scenario if they fall into this criteria.
On Nov. 15, 2021, the National Restaurant Association urged the IRS and Department of Treasury to speed ERTC payments and delay related taxes. A national grassroots petition on these ERTC recommendations has over 5,300 signatories, and we encourage members to add their name.
The Association also strongly supports the bipartisan “Employee Retention Tax Credit Reinstatement Act” (H.R. 6161). The bill, introduced by Reps. Carol Miller (R-WV) and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), would restore the fourth quarter of ERTC.
Questions? Email or call the AskWRA Team at 608-270-9950.
In October of 2021, the Department of Labor released new tip credit regulations (also referred to as the “dual jobs” or “80/20”) that govern pay for tipped employees of restaurants. This new regulation became effective on December 28th.
In November, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Law Center and the Texas Restaurant Association filed an emergency lawsuit in a Texas federal court challenging the rules and asking for an immediate injunction while the case is being considered. The lawsuit is based on the premise that the Labor Department has exceeded its authority in releasing these rules, and that the impact of the rules will be a definite net-negative for the restaurant industry.
The new tip credit regulations devise three different categories of work, which impact the wage a restaurant can pay a tipped employee: “tip-producing work”, “directly supporting work”, and work that is “not part of the tipped occupation”. Importantly, under the new tip credit regulations, restaurants cannot take a tip credit for the time spent on tasks considered “directly supporting work” that exceeds 20% of the workweek or 30 continuous minutes.
Keep in mind, time spent in the second category of directly supporting duties, employees may not spend a “substantial amount of time” completing these tasks. This is defined as either (1) more than 30 continuous minutes, or (2) more than 20% of the hours in the workweek for which tip credit is taken.
At this time, it is important for restaurants to continue to take steps to comply with the new tip credit regulations. Actions to consider taking include conducting an audit of the job duties performed by your tipped employees, training your managers on the new requirements, implementing new policies and procedures on side work, changing your staffing model to hire new staff to perform side work tasks, and adopting new timekeeping protocols for tipped employees.
The National Restaurant Association is hosting a webinar on February 17th at 2:00 pm (CT): Living with the Department of Labor’s New Dual Jobs Final Rule. The webinar will give an update on the lawsuit and will provide an overview of what the new dual job regulations require.
Sign up for webinar