Posted in Legal Bites
Congress Considers Replenishment of Exhausted RRF Funds

The much anticipated Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) was deluged with applicants. According to Restaurant Dive, more than 362,000 applications were received in the first three weeks of the program for a total of $75 billion in funding. The SBA has since closed its portal to new applicants. The portal website states: “After an overwhelming response to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, the application portal is now closed for new applications.”

On June 8, 2021, a bipartisan group of Senators and U.S. Representatives introduced the Restaurant Revitalization Fund ...

FAST Act (AB-257) Narrowly Defeated

On June 3, 2021, AB-257, the Fast Food Accountability and Standards Recovery Act (the “FAST Act”) was defeated in the California Assembly, coming up three votes short of the 41 votes needed. 

The FAST Act would have established a Fast Food Sector Council (the “Council”), comprised of 11 members appointed by the Governor, Speaker of the Assembly and Senate Rules Committee. Under the proposed bill, that Council would have been tasked with conducting a full review of the adequacy of fast food restaurant health safety and employment standards, and establishing industry-wide ...

Posted in Legal Bites
FTC Announces July 1 Open Meeting

On June 24, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that it would be holding the first of a series of open meetings. Members of the public are invited to listen to the FTC’s discussion and submit public comment.

The initial agenda includes the following:

  • Made in the USA Rule: The FTC will vote on whether to finalize the Made in the USA Rule.
  • Section 18 Rulemaking Procedures: The FTC will vote on whether to streamline the procedures for Section 18 rules prohibiting unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
  • “Statement of Enforcement Principles Regarding ‘Unfair ...
DOL Proposes New Tip Credit Rule

On June 23, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to limit the amount of non-tip producing work that a tipped employee can perform when an employer is taking a tip credit. 

According to the DOL, the proposed rule “clarifies when an employee is working in a tipped occupation and when a worker has performed such a substantial amount of non-tipped labor that an employer can no longer take a tip credit and must pay the full federal minimum wage to the worker.” 

Under the proposed rule, if a tipped employee spends either more than 20 percent of their ...

Posted in Legal Bites
Ninth Circuit Rejects Proposed False Advertising Settlement Agreement Seeking Disproportionate Attorneys’ Fees

Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit reversed approval of a class action settlement, finding several indications that the proposed settlement was the result of collusion between the parties and did not adequately serve the class. The case, Briseño et al. v. ConAgra Foods Inc., Case No. 19-56297 (9th Cir.), originally filed in 2011, centers around allegations that defendant ConAgra Food Inc., then-owner of Wesson Oil, falsely advertised its oil as “100% Natural” when in fact the oil contained ingredients made from GMOs.

After several years of litigation, plaintiffs ...

Cal/OSHA Approves Modified COVID-19 Workplace Regulations

On June 17, 2021, the California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board (the Cal/OSHA Board) voted to approve a set of new modified COVID-19-related workplace emergency regulations, found here. The new modified regulations will need to be approved within ten days by the state Office of Administrative Law, which is expected to approve the rules. Governor Newsom has also indicated that he may approve the rules immediately. 

These regulations replace more stringent regulations that were inconsistent with the latest guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and ...

Posted in Legal Bites
FDA Issues Final Rule on Yogurt Standard of Identity

On June 11, 2021, the FDA issued a final rule to amend the standard of identity for yogurt. The rule will become effective on July 12, 2021. 

A standard of identity describes in detail what a food product must contain, how it must be proportioned and in some cases how it must be manufactured. The FDA has more than 280 standards for a wide variety of food products.  As part of the FDA’s Nutrition Innovation Strategy, the agency has been considering standards of identity and particularly looking to revoke or update standards when they are inconsistent with modern manufacturing processes or ...

Posted in Legal Bites
Ninth Circuit: Trader Joe’s Chicken Labeling Claims Federally Preempted

On June 4, 2021, a panel of judges from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of consumer poultry labeling claims against Trader Joe’s on the ground that those claims were federally preempted. The consumer claims alleged that Trader Joe’s labels on poultry were misleading under California law because they had different percentages of retained water than was displayed on their labels. 

Poultry labeling, including a retained water data collection process and label production, are regulated by the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act (“PPIA”) and the ...

Posted in Legal Bites
LA County Moves from Temporary to Permanent Outdoor Dining

On Tuesday, June 8, 2021, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion to establish permanent guidelines for outdoor dining and move from the temporary pandemic authorizations to a long-term plan.

The motion requested several L.A. County agencies to work together to establish permanent Countywide guidelines for expanded options for outdoor dining spaces. This includes new guidelines for public sidewalks, alleys, and private on-site and off-site parking facilities.

The Board also asked those agencies to develop a plan to transition all restaurants that have ...

California Announces Rules for June 15 Reopening; Cal/OSHA Reconsiders Employer Requirements

On June 9, 2021, the California Department of Public Health announced a new face coverings guidance that will go into effect statewide on June 15, 2021. In addition, Governor Newsom’s office announced that on June 15, 2021, California would be fully reopen with no capacity limits or distancing required by the state. The county-by-county color tier system will also be eliminated. However, individual county health departments may continue to impose restrictions under local public health orders.

Under the State’s new guidance, fully vaccinated persons are not required to wear ...

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