Commercial Rent Tax Reform To Be Passed and Signed!!
One of our primary government affairs’ priorities this year in New York City was to reform the commercial rent tax and raise the threshold for businesses that were subjected to the tax from $250,000 to $500,000. We have great news on this front as the bill passed through the council and Mayor has stated that he will sign it when it does! By the print date of this article we are guessing it’s signed!
This tax was unfair to many of the restaurants that are located below 96th street in Manhattan, the only area in the five boroughs that still has this unnecessary tax. The threshold for the tax was last changed in 2001, when it was raised to $250,000 from $150,000. Since then, commercial rents have exploded in most of Manhattan to include more small businesses in this unneeded tax.
The Association was incredibly active in fighting for this reform as we testified in support of this legislation, wrote an op-ed that appeared in Crain’s Business Journal on the importance of this issue and met with Councilmember Dan Garodnick who was the primary champion of this bill. This bill will help hundreds of restaurants across Manhattan.
Thank you to all our members and partners involved with this Commercial Rent Tax WIN!
Fair Work Week Scheduling Laws Take Effect
The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs announced earlier this week that the Fair Work Week Scheduling Laws went into effect and inspectors will be issuing warnings to those quick service restaurants that are not in compliance. The Department has assured the Association that it is taking an “education first” approach and will host a series of educational seminars on the new laws before issuing fines. As a reminder, these new laws only effect restaurants that have 30 or more locations across the country.
This package will mandate employers:
- Provide written schedules for the first two weeks of work with hours, dates, start and end times of shifts and written “Good Faith Estimates” (days, times, hours, locations you can expect to work during your employment) before an employee’s first day
- Give workers their written work schedule at least 14 days before their first shift in the schedule
- Advertise shifts to existing workers before looking for new employees
- Cannot schedule workers to work two shifts over two days when the first shift ends a day and when there are less than 11 hours between shifts unless workers consent in writing AND are paid a $100 premium to work the shift
- Authorize voluntary deductions and contributions to a nonprofit
If employers do not meet the above criteria after the educational period has concluded, the offending restaurant will face financial penalties to be determined by the Department of Consumer Affairs.
The Association fought against these regulations tooth and nail, meeting with every member of the City Council on this package. We are continuing to explore other avenues to fight against these unfair laws and will continue to update you all on these possible routes when we have meaningful information to share. If you have any questions about these new laws please contact our Government Affairs Director Kevin Dugan at Kevin@nysra.org. These new regulations are separate from the scheduling rules released by the Department of Labor that affects those businesses included in the Miscellaneous Wage Order, which restaurants do not fall under.
Department of Transportation Addresses NYS Restaurant Association NYC Chapter- A win for Restaurant Owners! (Thank You DOT!)
There has been some confusion amongst our members in New York City over recently amended transportation rules regarding Commercial Bike Regulations. To clear up some of the questions surrounding this issue, the NYS Restaurant Association NYC Chapter Board was joined at their monthly meeting by members of the Department of Transportation who provided much needed clarity.
The Department outlined that restaurants are NOT responsible for the education and safety of those delivery cyclists that work for 3rd party delivery companies. Those companies are the sole responsible parties and if restaurants have been cited for violations for delivery drivers outside of their control, they should contact the department immediately.
If you have further questions on this issue please contact our Government Affairs Director Kevin Dugan at Kevin@nysra.org or visit the Department of Transportation website regarding bike laws.
For more information on NYSRA, visit our website at www.nysra.org.