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New Law Center Fights for Industry

January 12, 2018

In its continuing fight to advance and protect the restaurant industry, the National Restaurant Association has launched the first-ever Restaurant Law Center.

The Restaurant Law Center, headed by Angelo Amador, the NRA’s senior vice president and regulatory counsel, will provide legal advocacy and strategy to the restaurant industry on cases before state and federal courts that may threaten restaurant businesses, operators and employees.

“The restaurant industry has been participating in legal battles on behalf of restaurant owners and employees for years,” he said. “But as these fights become more prevalent, we must have the legal means and an apparatus to push back against outside groups that threaten the jobs and economic growth the restaurant industry creates, as well as to protect and advance the industry. The Restaurant Law Center will streamline the industry’s ability to engage in legal proceedings and to seek just outcomes.”

Jay Stieber, the RLC’s chairman, said the industry must fight back against well-funded special interest groups who choose to use the courts to enact policy.

“It is imperative that the second-largest private-sector employer in the country has its voice heard,” he said. “Restaurants are America’s job training ground and one of the few careers that don’t require a four-year college degree to achieve the American Dream. But restaurants continue to be threatened by overregulation on the local, state and federal levels, and by activist judges with little to no understanding of how our industry works.”

Stieber, executive vice president and general counsel for Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises Inc. and an NRA board member, said the RLC would give the industry an opportunity to not only fight back against unwarranted attacks, but also work through the courts to promote pro-growth laws and regulations that would create jobs and grow the economy.

One of the first cases the center is managing is Oregon Restaurant and Lodging et al v. Perez, et al. The case challenges the U.S. Department of Labor’s determination that bars restaurants that do not take a tip credit from setting up tip pools where front-of-the-house staff share tips with back-of-the-house staff. Amador, who serves as the RLC’s executive director, will file a Petition of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 19. The case was recently rated one of the top five employment cases to watch in 2017 by Law360.

Learn more about the Restaurant Law Center and the cases it is currently handling at

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