Labor and Policy


  • Compass Coffee's Georgetown store closed for an NLRB election on July 16.
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    Aneurin Canham-Clyne/Restaurant Dive
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    Compass Coffee union vote mired in challenges

    The union secured unanimous support among unchallenged voters, but the vast majority of ballots must be adjudicated by the NLRB.

    By July 17, 2024
  • A Zaxby's logo used for the chicken chain.
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    Glenn, Miles. (2022). "Zaxby's" [Photograph]. Retrieved from Flickr.
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    Zaxby’s faces lawsuit for allegedly refusing to accommodate pregnant teen

    A manager allegedly told the plaintiff to work in the restaurant’s hot kitchen and fired her because she asked to be reassigned, according to the complaint.

    By Laurel Kalser • July 17, 2024
  • A photo of Washington, DC's city hall.
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    traveler1116 via Getty Images
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    DC restaurant to pay $525K in wage theft settlement

    Swahili Village will pay about $260,000 in back wages to more than 70 workers after Washington, D.C.’s attorney general alleged the restaurant failed to pay minimum wage.

    By July 16, 2024
  • antitrust enforcement
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    Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images
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    FTC takes aim at undisclosed franchising fees

    The agency also said policies that keep franchisees from reporting potentially illegal business practices to regulators are against the law.

    By July 15, 2024
  • A person in a coat rides a bicycle holding a red DoorDash bag.
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    Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images via Getty Images
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    NYC delivery worker earnings up 22%

    Decreases in consumer tips and total employment were more than offset by sharp rises in base pay, according to the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection.

    By July 15, 2024
  • workers toil on a hot construction site with the orange sun in the background
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    SonerCdem via Getty Images
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    OSHA proposes rule to protect workers from extreme heat

    The standard would require employers to provide water and rest breaks when high heat creates a hazardous work environment.

    By Zachary Phillips , July 2, 2024
  • A white sign with black text reading 'Compass Coffee' in front of and below a lighted neon saying reading 'Georgetown'
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    Aneurin Canham-Clyne/Restaurant Dive
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    Deep Dive

    Compass Coffee responds to union drive with mass hiring

    The union plans to challenge the voter eligibility of scores of workers the Washington, D.C.-based chain added to its roster ahead of a scheduled mid-July election.

    By June 28, 2024
  • The exterior of a Panera Bread restaurant.
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    Justin Sullivan / Staff via Getty Images
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    Panera faces potential class-action lawsuit over data breach involving employee information

    Corporate files were accessed during a security incident in March, but workers weren’t informed about sensitive data being exposed until June, the lawsuit claims.

    By Carolyn Crist • June 28, 2024
  • A chef cooks a real hot dish.
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    vgajic via Getty Images
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    California adopts rule limiting indoor workplace heat exposure

    Employers will have to provide workers with cool down spaces and water if the indoor temperature or heat index cracks 87 degrees Fahrenheit. 

    By June 27, 2024
  • An image of a refreshed Subway.
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    Courtesy of Subway
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    48-store Subway operator declares bankruptcy after wrongful death suit appeal denied

    River Sub owes the survivors of a murdered manager nearly $3 million, by far the largest liability on its balance sheet.

    By June 25, 2024
  • A picture of a building with Domino's signage and a car parked on the left side.
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    Courtesy of Domino's
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    Domino’s appoints chief human resources officer

    Effective July 8, Maureen Pittenger will take on all aspects of human resources strategies in her new position at the pizza chain. 

    By June 24, 2024
  • The headquarters of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C.
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    Ryan Golden/Restaurant Dive
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    Honolulu restaurant, HR company settle EEOC suit claiming co-owner targeted gay workers for harassment

    The co-owner allegedly exposed his genitals at work, asked for oral sex and commented on male workers’ sexual orientation, EEOC said.

    By Ginger Christ • June 17, 2024
  • Smith v. Spizzirri Supreme Court arbitration decision
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    Kevin Dietsch / Staff via Getty Images
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    Starbucks unionization efforts

    Supreme Court backs Starbucks to impose stricter test on NLRB injunctions

    The court ordered lower courts to use a four-factor test in place of the two-factor standard used by some circuits when determining whether to grant injunctions in labor disputes.

    By June 13, 2024
  • A Waffle House in Alabama.
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    Joe Raedle via Getty Images
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    Waffle House workers claim organizing prompted companywide wage bumps

    While CEO Joe Rogers III said wage increases were five years in the making, they also come months after organized workers went on strike at several stores calling for higher pay. 

    By June 11, 2024
  • People holding signs and a bullhorn.
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
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    Uber loses gig worker court decision

    The battle over whether gig workers are independent contractors continues. A separate court case will decide the legality of a Lyft- and Uber-backed ballot measure in California that would define them as such.

    By Dan Zukowski • June 11, 2024
  • An image of a building with "Rubio's Coastal Grill" on the outside.
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    Permission granted by Rubio's Coastal Grill
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    Rubio’s closes 48 CA stores following minimum wage hike

    Following a review of operations and given the current economic environment, the chain decided to close the locations due to the increased cost of doing business in the Golden State. 

    By June 3, 2024
  • Three people stand outside a closed coffee shop holding signs.
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    Permission granted by Holly Costanzo
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    Deep Dive

    Workers at DC’s Wydown cafes got organized. Then they lost everything.

    The owners of the two-unit coffee chain shut down operations in the middle of a union drive, leaving workers fighting for severance.

    By May 29, 2024
  • The outside of a Starbucks store
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    Spencer Platt via Getty Images
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    NLRB judge tells Starbucks to rescind ‘respectful communication’ policy

    The employer also must reinstate an employee fired for alleged violation of the rule, the judge ruled.

    By Ginger Christ • May 24, 2024
  • A black sign that says Red Lobster that is outside of a building that also says Red Lobster
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
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    Red Lobster worker sues over WARN Act violation

    The seafood chain gave no warning of closures to workers, and in one case management reassured workers their store was profitable, per the suit.

    By May 24, 2024
  • Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee.
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    Chip Somodevilla / Staff via Getty Images
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    DOL overtime expansion ‘unlawful,’ business groups argue

    The Restaurant Law Center joined other business groups in a lawsuit in the same court that enjoined an Obama-era overtime rule.

    By Caroline Colvin • May 23, 2024
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz speaks at a podium
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    Stephen Maturen via Getty Images
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    Minnesota restaurants, delivery services must disclose service fees to consumers

    The state joined California in passing a law requiring the disclosure of all mandatory fees consumers face beginning in January.

    By May 22, 2024
  • Two women putting an order for food through a kiosk
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    Don Wu via Getty Images
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    Grubbrr CEO: Automation could make restaurants a high-wage, high-productivity business

    Kiosks may not be a silver bullet for labor troubles — they seem better suited to boost check sizes — but they may be part of a gradual transformation of restaurant work, Sam Zietz said. 

    By May 21, 2024
  • A Starbucks union member speaks into a megaphone
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    Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images
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    NLRB judges rule Starbucks participated in unfair labor practices in 2 cases

    In one case, an NLRB judge found Starbucks fired a shift supervisor for closing a store early over staffing issues, which is a protected union activity.

    By May 14, 2024
  • An image of a Johnny Rockets counter.
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    Permission granted by Fat Brands
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    Feds indict Andrew Wiederhorn, Fat Brands in $47M loan scheme

    Wiederhorn was slapped with a litany of charges including tax evasion, wire fraud and possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.

    By May 10, 2024
  • California's Attorney General Rob Bonta speaks at a press conference.
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    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
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    California bans hidden fees starting July 1

    The state will require businesses to include all mandatory fees in listed prices, making it harder for restaurants to impose service charges.

    By May 9, 2024