The Dish on Paid Time Off: How Will a New Requirement to Offer PTO Impact Local Employers?

By Lucia Ruiz, Comstock’s Magazine


New legislation mandates California businesses to provide paid sick days to employees who do not already have access to paid time off. The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act (Assembly Bill 1522) was signed by Gov. Brown in September, making California the second state to implement statewide paid sick leave, following Connecticut.

The law, effective July 1 of this year, will entitle employees who have worked in California for 30 days or more paid sick leave for themselves or for a family member within a year from the start of employment.

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Clearing Marks In the Beverage Space Has Become Increasingly Complex

By Scott Hervey

In this author’s opinion, I believe that most consumers see wine, beer and mineral water as unrelated products and would not believe that beer, wine or mineral water that share similar trademark elements (e.g., similar words or similar design) are related or emanate from the same source.  However, the TTAB has found otherwise.

Beginning with its 1992 decision in In re Sailerbrau Franz Sailer, the TTAB has been receptive to arguments that wine and beer are related. 

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New FDA Strategy Document for FSMA, Food Safety Modernization ACT

By: Real Estate

The USDA has issued a new “strategy” document that outlines the agency’s direction with regard to implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act (“FSMA”).  The document is intended to “to guide the next phase of FSMA implementation by outlining broadly the drivers of change in FDA’s approach to food safety and the operational strategy for implementing that change.” The strategy includes agency internal changes as well as purporting to be a guide to the rules regarding food and feed facilities,

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No E-Smoking Please, We Are European!

By David R. Gabor

For those of us old enough to remember, the bars, restaurants and salons of Europe were once literally awash in smoke so thick you could cut it with the proverbial knife. Starting at least a decade ago, however, certain EU countries began requiring extremely large, graphic health warnings on all tobacco products that were 60% of the packaging, as well as ensuring that cigarette packaging be childproof.

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Think You Are Leaving a Tip After a Nice Meal, Think Again; You May Be Leaving Someone’s Wages – IRS Ruling On Automatic Gratuity Begins January 2014

By The Labor and Employment Group

Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will recognize automatic gratuities, a percentage automatically added to a restaurant bill, as a service charge, rather than a tip. The IRS ruling on automatic gratuities isn’t new. This was the result of a June 2012 tax ruling that was delayed to give restaurants and related businesses more time to comply.

The IRS regards service charges as regular wages which must be reported for payroll tax withholding under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act.

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