COVID has changed a lot within the restaurant world. As of 2022, there are many new laws and regulations.
With the recent new variant and surge in COVID cases, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a new standard to employers with 100 or more employees as of November 5, 2021. First, vaccination is strongly encouraged to protect unvaccinated employees from the risk of COVID-19 infection. Next, employers must establish a COVID-19 vaccination policy for all employees. Employers could approve a policy offering their staff to either get vaccinated or have regular COVID-19 tests and wear a face covering while at work. This new standard requires restaurant employers to implement these safety measures.
While OSHA’s new standard applies to all restaurants covered under their jurisdiction, other changes for 2022 have been mandated in individual states.
In Texas, the legislature approved a bill for on-premise restaurants with a wine and malt beverage retailer’s permit to be issued a food and beverage certificate by the commission if the receipts from alcoholic beverages at that location are 60 percent or less of total receipts. This does not apply to concessions in sports stadiums or convention centers. It applies to a permittee that operates its own permanent food service facility with commercial cooking equipment on its premises. Economically, serving alcohol may be a wise choice to bolster sales in the restaurant business.
A new law about food delivery apps has been amended in the Business and Professions Code in California. It is now unlawful for a food delivery platform such as DoorDash or Uber Eats to accept tips and gratuity intended for restaurant workers. Food delivery platforms must be transparent and disclose an accurate, clearly marked, and itemized cost breakdown of each transaction. This breakdown is to be provided to the customer and the food facility to regulate the growing app-based food-delivery industry.
In New York, a 2022 vaccination mandate has been passed. Anyone who wants to work or attend any restaurant establishment must now show acceptable proof of vaccination. This includes documented evidence of completed vaccination at least two weeks before the visit. Any person 12 years of age or older must produce either a CDC vaccine card, a photocopy or digital photo of their vaccination record, or an uploaded image of the vaccination record on an approved mobile application such as NYC COVID Safe App, Clear Health Pass, or Excelsior Pass. Children ages 5-11 must be vaccinated with at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.
There are more restaurant laws to be aware of for 2022. Employers, employees, and guests should make themselves aware of these new changes. Follow Synergy on social media to keep up to date on restaurant news developments.