“My payroll company will tell me how to handle employee meal costs and uniform reimbursement, spread-of-hours pay and call-in pay rules.”

Not true.  Most payroll companies don’t know the rules.  Some know the federal rules and communicate to you about them but don’t understand the intricacies in New York State.

“I have a lot of experience and know the rules about tip reporting and tip appropriation.”

You may be right, but there are a number of complexities.  You need an understanding of the new two-hour, twenty-percent rule and how to assure that certain employees in your tip pool are eligible to participate in it.  Also, there are extensive new record-keeping requirements that greatly affect all New York restaurant employers.

“I’ve been hiring and firing employees for years, I don’t need help with that.”

The stark increase in regulatory enforcement actions and private lawsuits threatens even compliant restaurateurs.  We all have to deal with immigration issues. Effective in 2011, federal and New York regulations changed and expanded the documentation required for newly-hired employees and mandated additional written communications with all employees.  The need to have formal hiring and firing practices has never been greater.