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Everything You Need to Know About Restaurant Labor Laws

Everything You Need to Know About Restaurant Labor Laws

Once Covid wasn’t prevalent globally, restaurant owners can now reopen their restaurants and offer in-door dining again. Customers may dine with or without masks indoors, and they can finally eat out with friends and family. Opening up a restaurant after the pandemic is the perfect time to give customers something new since they are desperate to get out of their homes and try something new. It is beneficial for a restaurant owner to open up a restaurant since they do not have to worry about the pandemic and closing their restaurant down. However, if you’re interested in opening a restaurant, there are many employment regulations to keep an eye out for here in the US. This federal labor legislation comes from the Fair Labor Standards Act. The specific labor code will depend on where you are, as state and local legislation may differ from federal. Here we’ll go over the employment regulations for restaurant workers and everything you need to know about them. You may also want to check out our guide to hiring the best employees for your small business.

Vacation Time

There is no federal labor legislation regarding paid vacation time for restaurant workers. In other words, employers are not required to provide paid vacation time to employees. However, if you want your employees to be satisfied and avoid burnout, you should strongly consider giving them some paid vacation days. It is standard for employers to offer 14 days of paid vacation in the restaurant industry. As an employer, how many vacation days you want to provide is up to you. A good method is to increase vacation days with employee time spent with the company. This way, a worker who has been with you for two years will get more vacation days than one who just started.

Sick Pay

For sick pay as well, there is no federal labor legislation. However, some states do have employment laws regarding sick days. Restaurant owners must provide paid sick leave in certain states like California and Washington. Even if your state does not require it, there are many benefits to labor legislation regarding sick days. Potential workers will be more motivated to work for you and be more productive and content than having no days off. Workers will feel overwhelmed and overworked if they do not have time off. Plus, fewer illnesses will go around if sick employees stay home. This means the likelihood of any of your staff or customers getting sick is slim to none.


The federal labor code requires overtime pay for restaurant workers. According to the labor legislation (Fair Labor Standards Act), employers must pay employees 1.5 times their regular hourly rate for hours that surpass the standard workweek (40 hours). The labor code is whether employees are paid hourly or weekly. You may need to determine if you can afford to have employees working overtime even though it is the law- you need to make sure how long they can stay after hours.

Maternity Leave

Like all other US employees, Restaurant workers are covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the labor legislation, employers cannot discriminate against employees with disabilities, which applies to employers with 15 or more employees. Even if a restaurant worker is employed by a small establishment with less than 15 employees, they are still options to attain protection via the ADA.