CRA Legislative Update 02/10/17

February 10, 2017

The Legislative Update is a quick explanation of bills we are actively following in the Colorado State Legislature. CRA updates this list as new bills are introduced or as the status of the listed bill’s changes.

In addition, we send out email notices and special “ALERTS” to members when we need help on issues or need you to contact certain legislators. It is extremely important that your member record at CRA contains your best contact email address. You can be sure we have it by sending your contact information to CRA at info@corestaurant.org. We promise not to share your email address with anyone. We will use it only for important CRA issues.

Read the latest Legislative Update HERE.

 

Spotlight on Safety – Protecting Your Business

February 1, 2017

By The Denver Police Department

  • Ensure the business is well-lit and eliminate places for criminals to hide near the building.
  • Lock all doors and windows when closed or away from the business. Install double cylinder deadbolts where possible, securing all points of entry, such as gates, fences, roof access, etc.
  • Remove cash from registers and leave the register open at the close of business and secure valuables or merchandise out of sight when closed.
  • Post signs outside your business letting criminals know there isn’t money in the register or safe, and keep track of inventory by marking items or logging serial numbers.
  • Start or join a Business Watch Program to build relationships with neighboring business owners.
  • Install an alarm or surveillance system.

Contact your local Denver Police District for a business safety assessment.

Safety Corner – Prevent restaurant theft from happening to you!

February 1, 2017

By Sean Pechan, Colorado Restaurant Insurance

We have been hearing from our clients about a recent uptick in burglaries within the Denver Metro area. Crimes against restaurants are typically crimes of opportunity, and these recent reports have definitely fallen into that category. Most often these burglaries happen after the restaurant has closed, however, in several instances a burglary has occurred during business hours. In almost every instance, the burglar has entered a back door (sometimes even during dinner rush). The perpetrator often takes cash and/or inventory food and liquor, then slips back out the back door of the restaurant.

We believe that implementation of some simple risk management steps can reduce your exposure to these types of loss. Besides costing your establishment potentially thousands of dollars, the loss of ‘peace of mind’ for you, your employees, and at times your customers is immeasurable.

Here are some examples of how we can work with you to help improve security and reduce your risk. Consider updating your security procedures and training all staff – including cleaning staff – so they understand their importance and follow the procedures. Develop practical policies in managing the risk of the backdoor of your restaurant (when it is acceptable to be open and how it should be respected). Limit the access of nonessential vendors and staff to back-of-house operations, especially the office where checks and cash on hand is managed. Keep inventory locked even during normal operations. Mark expensive equipment with ID numbers and keep detailed records of all inventory, and store the information off-premises for ease in reporting after the fact.

Contact your local police department for a business safety assessment. The CRI can also provide additional risk management techniques to reduce exposure to loss. We are available to offer guidance to protect your assets. Call us anytime at (303) 830-2972.

CRA Working for You 0217

February 1, 2017

By Sonia Riggs, CRA President & CEO

LOOKING FORWARD
The CRA staff are taking a strong look at our organization to make sure that we are providing value to all our members – whether you are a small, independent restaurant, or a larger restaurant group. Part of that value is making sure that you are receiving the information that we are sending your way. For example, there are several new Colorado laws that you need to be aware of that directly impact your business (explained later in the newsletter) but you may not have heard of them yet because we don’t have the most up-to-date contact information for you. You’ll likely receive a call and email from us in the coming months to make sure we have the correct contact information for you, and that we are communicating the right messages with the appropriate people within your organization. Please bear with us as we work through this process.

 

NATIONAL FIGHT ON TIP POOLING
On a national level, the National Restaurant Association, through their Restaurant Law Center is leading the effort of asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case, National Restaurant Association, et al. v. U.S. Department of Labor, et all. The case challenges the Department of Labor’s anti tip-pooling stance that prevents cooks and dishwashers from receiving tips.  The Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) tip credit regulations prevent front-of-the-house restaurant employees from sharing tips with back-of-the-house employees if the employer takes a tip credit, meaning some employees earn a tip wage. However, the Department of Labor has now expanded the tip credit regulations, without Congressional action, and is refusing to allow employees to share tips even if the employer does not take a tip credit. This violates the clear language of the law and the intent of the law. Learn more here.

 

LEGISLATIVE SESSION
The Colorado legislative session kicked off on January 11 and we are already actively monitoring bills on a daily basis and have an update on some legislation that we are closely watching. (See the Legislative Update attached to the Newsletter) Feel free to call us if you have any questions or would like to weigh in on an issue. Our legislative committee meets weekly and is open to all members. If you are interested in participating, please contact Nick Hoover at (303) 830-2972.

Colorado Restaurant Industry Statistics – 2017 Menu of Facts

February 1, 2017

Every year we produce The Menu of Facts, a booklet outlining the economic impact of our industry to provide to lawmakers. Distributed first at the annual Blue Ribbon Legislative Reception, this handy pocket reference acts as a great conversation starter with any lawmaker or media person interested in learning more about our industry. We are an industry made up of small businesses with a large impact. If you would like any copies of the Menu of Facts, email the CRA and we will see that you get what you need. Also find the latest industry stats on our industry statistics page at corestaurant.org.

2016 Brought Many new Regulations – Are You Compliant?

February 1, 2017

Minimum Wage Increased January 1
As of January 1, 2017, Colorado’s minimum wage is as follows: Regular Minimum Wage = $9.30 hr., Tipped Wage = $6.28. Get the scheduled rates for the next four years HERE.

Reasonable Accommodation Law for Pregnant Employees
A new law passed in 2016 requires employers with one or more employees (basically every employer in Colorado) to inform employees of their rights regarding pregnancy accommodation. As of December 8, 2016, all current employees should have received written notice of this new law, and new employees must be informed when hired. Get a sample employee letter and details on the law HERE.

New I-9 Form and Elimination of Colorado Affirmation Form
There is a revised I-9 Form, read about it HERE. As you may recall, Colorado previously required you to complete the Colorado Affirmation Form in addition to the I-9 form for each new employee. In 2016, the CRA and others worked to eliminate this redundancy, so now you only need to complete the I-9 form for your new hires.

Need Labor Law Posters? Get them free as a CRA Member!
Do you know that as a member of CRA you get free Labor Compliance posters? Email info@corestaurant.org to request your 2017 poster.

OSHA’s Electronic Submissions & Anti-Retaliation Rule

February 1, 2017

By Mindy Carrothers, Pinnacol Safety Group

With the new year underway, we remind you about amendments to OSHA’s recordkeeping regulations that became effective Jan. 1, 2017. The revised regulations require many employers to annually submit to OSHA certain electronic injury and illness data, which will then become publicly available. The new rule also includes anti-retaliation language that covers the entire scope of employer policies on the reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses.

The annual electronic reporting requirements became effective on New Year’s Day, 2017, while the anti-retaliation provisions were effective much earlier, on Aug. 10, 2016.

Annual Electronic Reporting

Previously, employers covered by OSHA’s recordkeeping regulations collected and maintained injury and illness data internally. Under the new rule, covered employers must now provide injury and illness data to OSHA annually, and the agency intends to make the data publicly available.

The annual electronic reporting requirements apply to three categories of employers:

  1. Large employers (i.e., establishments with 250 or more employees that are not exempt from OSHA’s recordkeeping rules)
  2. “High-risk” employers (i.e., establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries)
  3. Any other employers from which OSHA makes a written request for data

OSHA decreased the reporting requirement for large employers (250+) from quarterly submissions to an annual submission. All employees working at an establishment during the previous calendar year (including full-time, part-time, seasonal, or temporary workers) are counted.

The new reporting requirements will phase in over the next two years as follows:

   

July 1, 2017

 

July 1, 2018

 

March 2, 2019

(and every March 2

thereafter)

Non-Exempt Employers

with 250+ Employees

2016 OSHA Form 300A

Logs due

 

2017 OSHA Forms

300, 300A and

301 due

Prior year’s OSHA Forms

300, 300A and 301 due

Employers in “High

Risk” Industries with 20-249 Employees

2016 OSHA Form 300A

Logs due

2017 OSHA Form 300A

Logs due

Prior year’s OSHA Form

300A Logs due

 

 

Recommendations

  • Employers subject to OSHA’s recordkeeping regulations can take certain steps now to comply with the new rules and limit citation liability:
  • Collect OSHA 300A forms (and 300 and 301 forms for large employers) electronically.
  • Post the newly revised OSHA poster to ensure compliance with the rule’s revised informational requirements.
  • Ensure reporting procedures (and, if applicable, any safety incentive programs) to ensure that such programs are reasonable and do not discourage injury and illness reporting.
  • Remind managers of anti-retaliation practices in light of the increased scrutiny employers will face under the revised rule. Per OSHA’s guidance, review disciplinary, incentive and drug-testing programs for elements that could result in retaliatory actions against employees.

Pinnacol Resources

For more information on OSHA’s electronic submissions and anti-retaliation rule and the requirements for your organization, visit OSHA’s recordkeeping and reporting requirements webpages. Review the helpful resources, including the OSHA Report Manager and many downloads, available on Pinnacol’s OSHA recordkeeping webpages. Consider registering for one of Pinnacol’s OSHA recordkeeping training sessions. Check out the online interactive OSHA compliance training available to Pinnacol customers through J.J. Keller. Or call Pinnacol’s Safety On Call hotline at 303-361-4700 or 888-501-4752. Our

Safety Services Team stands ready to answer questions and help your organization remain current and compliant with OSHA requirements.