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New laws affecting restaurants in 2014

New laws affecting restaurants in 2014

Changes to California laws affecting employers generally and the food and beverage industry specifically may have implications for restaurant operators across the state. Laws that captured the attention of the press in 2013 included minimum wage increases, enterprise zone credits and adjustments to Proposition 65 enforcement.

See below for a complete list of new state and local laws that may affect restaurants in 2014:


AB 10


Minimum Wage Increase

Increase minimum wage from $8 to $9 July 1, 2014 and from $9 to $10 by Jan. 1, 2016.  No indexing.

AB 93

(Budget Trailer)

Enterprise Zone Credits

Eliminates the current hiring tax credit beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Existing employers in Enterprise Zones can collect credits for existing employees hired before that date for as long as five years. Unused credits can be carried forward for as long as 10 years.  Hiring credits are available only to employers paying at least 150% of the state’s minimum wage. Restaurants and foodservice are among the excluded businesses, unless they are a small business with gross receipts of less than $2 million.

AB 227


Proposition 65 Enforcement

Allows a business that receives a notice for allegedly violating the warning provisions of Proposition 65 to correct the violation within 14 days and pay a civil penalty of $500.

AB 393 (Cooley-D)

Business Fee Schedules

Requires the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to post on its website information or links to information about licensing, permitting and registration requirements for starting a business as well as the associated fee information or links to the fee schedules.

AB 483


Tourism Marketing Districts

Protects and preserves Tourism Marketing Districts and Business Improvement Districts by clarifying a few key terms related to the implementation of Proposition 26 which defines a local tax and sets out the categories of charges that are excluded from that definition.

AB 593


Alcoholic Beverage Licenses / Streamlined Protest Process

Restaurants are no longer required when applying for a new or transfer of an alcohol license to publish notification in regional print media in those cases where individual notifications are already being mailed directly to area residents. In addition, the legislation requires ABC by Jan. 1, 2016 to promulgate regulations defining what constitutes an invalid or unreasonable protest with respect to a license application.

AB 647 (Chesbro-D)

Beer Manufacturers / Growlers

Revises the definition of “beer manufacturer” to include only those persons that have facilities and equipment for the purposes of, and are engaged in, the commercial manufacture of beer. Additionally, requires a beer label to include the brand and type of beer and would also require a beer manufacturer that refills any container (growler) supplied by a consumer to affix a label, on the container prior to its resale to the consumer.

AB 1252 (Comm. On Health)

Retail Food Safety / Bare Hand Contact

Sponsored by the Retail Food Safety Coalition, this bill updates food-to-hand contact, conforms federal law changes to the definition of service animals, and clarifies food-worker health requirements. This bill generally prohibits food employees from contacting ready-to-eat food with their bare hands, but permits bare hand contact in limited, specified circumstances as long as food employees are “not serving a highly susceptible population.”

SB 400 (Jackson–D)

Employment Protections

Prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against an employee because of the employee's known status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking if the victim provides notice to the employer of the status or the employer has actual knowledge of the status. Additionally, requires the employer to provide reasonable accommodations that may include the implementation of safety measures or procedures for such a victim.




City of Davis

Plastic Bag Ban

Effective July 1, 2014 all retail establishments, including restaurants, will be prohibited from distributing single-use plastic bags.  In addition, retailers are required to charge at least 10 cents for each recycled paper or reusable bag.



El Cerrito

Expanded Polystyrene

Bans foodservice establishments in the city of El Cerrito from using expanded polystyrene food packaging. Businesses in the city will be required to comply by Jan. 1, 2014.


Happy Hours at full-service restaurants

Instead of banning happy hours outright, the city will allow happy hours featuring reduced-price alcohol sales, reduced-price appetizers and reduced price non-alcoholic beverages, from 4 to 9 p.m. Live and recorded entertainment will be allowed until midnight. Full-service restaurants will be required to obtain a city permit ($280 annually) and must comply with the ‘Deemed Approved’ regulations.

Morgan Hill

Expanded Polystyrene

Bans foodservice establishments in the City of Morgan Hill from using expanded polystyrene food packaging. Businesses are required to comply by April 22, 2014.


Expanded Polystyrene

Bans foodservice establishments in the city of Richmond from using expanded polystyrene food packaging. Businesses in the city will be required to comply by Jan. 1, 2014.

San Francisco

Family-Friendly Workplace (Labor Law)

The ordinance adopted by the Board of Supervisors provides an employee who has been employed for at least six months and works at least eight hours per week regularly, the right to request a flexible or predictable working arrangement to assist with caregiving responsibilities for a child or children for whom the employee has assumed parental responsibility, a person or persons with a serious health condition in a family relationship with the employee or a parent age 65 or older of the employee.

An employee may request a change in the employee’s terms and conditions of employment as they relate to:

  • the number of hours the employee is required to work
  • the times when the employee is required to work
  • where the employee is required to work
  • work assignments or other factors
  • predictability in a work schedule.

Bona fide business reasons may include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. identifiable cost of the change in a term or condition of employment requested in the application, including but not limited to the cost of productivity loss, retraining or hiring Employees, or transferring employees from one facility to another facility
  2. detrimental effect of ability to meet customer or client demands
  3. inability to organize work among other employees insufficiency of work to be performed during the time the employee proposes to work.

San Francisco

Gross Receipts Tax  (Taxation)

The Gross Receipts Tax and Business Registration Fees Ordinance (2012 Proposition E) was approved by San Francisco voters n Nov. 6, 2012. The first taxpayer filings affected will be the Business Registration Fees due May 31, 2014. The changes to the Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax commence Jan. 1, 2014. The Office of Treasurer & Tax Collector will provide taxpayers with instructions about changed business registration fees and tax filings in 2014.

Businesses with gross receipts of less than $1 million annually will be exempt from the Gross Receipts Tax, but will be required to pay a business registration fee. The Gross Receipts Tax rates will vary depending on the type of business and annual gross receipts from business activity in the city. The city will phase in the Gross Receipts Tax, and reduce the Payroll Expense Tax, over a five-year period beginning in 2014.

Read Proposition E here.

San Jose

Expanded Polystyrene

Bans foodservice establishments in the City of San Jose from using expanded polystyrene (EPS) food packaging. Multi-state restaurant chains must comply by Jan. 1, 2014. All others, including small neighborhood restaurants, need to switch by Jan. 1, 2015. Businesses with gross income less than $300,000 may apply for an exemption if the switch would result in a financial hardship. If your restaurant requires a type of packaging that is unavailable in any other kind of material you may apply for an exemption.


Expanded Polystyrene

Bans foodservice establishments in the City of Sunnyvale from using expanded polystyrene food packaging. Businesses are required to comply by April 22, 2014.




City of Los Angeles

Expedite the sidewalk permitting process

Create a pilot program allowing a temporary expedited permit process for the legal placement of sidewalk dining in the Historic Core area in Downtown Los Angeles.

City of San Diego

Affordable Housing Commercial Linkage Fee

The San Diego City Council voted to increase the commercial linkage fee on Nov. 4, 2013.  This legislation will increase cost to new commercial development by as much as 500% - directly affecting leaseholds on new restaurants in the City of San Diego.

City of San Diego

Sidewalk Café Permitting Program

The San Diego City Council unanimously voted to support CRA’s proposed legislation promoting an expedited permitting program for sidewalk cafés in the City.  This reduced the cost of permitting a new sidewalk café by 87%.


For more information, please visit this articles web page.
This article was published on Wednesday 22 January, 2014.
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