As more states and localities have rushed to mandate higher wages, paid leave benefits and predictive scheduling (Fair Workweek laws), many business interests and economic-focused organizations have cautioned about the impact these mandates may have on business over time. It would appear that those cautions are starting to come to fruition if one looks more closely at some of the restaurant closings in New York City. Although there are no doubt any number of reasons why a restaurant in the Big Apple may fail, ever-increasing labor costs and government mandates still play a significant role. Furthermore, we found this article on the impact on retailers and restaurants published in Forbes last week to be especially informative and wanted to call it to your attention. Some restaurant owners have sought to mitigate the costs of these mandates with the addition of automatic service charges to their customers. That approach can lead to significant problems however, if a decision by California’s First District Court of Appeal is taken into account. For further details on its decision in the case of Lauren O’Grady v. Merchant Exchange Productions, Inc, and how service charges can be defined as tips payable to non-managerial employees, we’d guide you to this article from California employment law firm Davis, Wright Tremaine LLP. The point being that as new legislative initiatives and/or judicial decisions become real, it is that much more perilous for small business to be caught unaware. Stay involved and stay informed, the business you save could be your own!