A recent settlement between Seattle chef Tom Douglas and his restaurant employees highlights the potentially costly technical requirements of Washington’s automatic service charge laws for hospitality businesses.
Washington law allows all “employers” that provide food, beverage, entertainment or portage services (e.g., restaurants, caterers, convention centers and hotels) to impose an automatic service charge on customers for such services. Sounds fairly straightforward, right? Not so fast. This law has two technical, yet important, requirements that employers must follow:
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Greg Duff founded and chairs Foster Garvey’s national Hospitality, Travel & Tourism group. His practice largely focuses on operations-oriented matters faced by hospitality industry members, including sales and marketing, distribution and e-commerce, procurement and technology. Greg also serves as counsel and legal advisor to many of the hospitality industry’s associations and trade groups, including AH&LA, HFTP and HSMAI.