Current Topics of Interest

Arkansas Minimum Wage to Increase to $8.50 per hour Effective January 1, 2017

On January 1, 2017, the Arkansas minimum wage will increase from $8.00 per hour to $8.50 per hour and the per hour for tipped employees stays the same at $2.63 per hour. Compensation for tipped employees must total at at least $8.50 per hour when tips are calculated. The Arkansas minimum wage will be higher than the federal minimum wage so even the Arkansas businesses whose annual gross sales are over $500,000 pay the higher wage of $8.50 per hour. When Arkansas and the federal minimum wages conflict, you must pay the employees the higher of the wage rates. Click here to see the ARKANSAS MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE FACT SHEET

 Click here for Tipped Employees Fact Sheet from the U.S. Department of Labor

Click here for Giving Employees Notice of Tip Credit, includes form for them to sign.


Overtime “Protection” on the Way: Prepare Now to Protect Your Bottom Line. 

By Cross, Gunter, Witherspoon & Galchus, P.C.

  • —Review current status of wage laws—
  • —Explain DOL’s Final Rule
  • —Discuss how to prepare for Dec. 1, 2016

Click here for more information prepared for our members


One Click – Stop/Shop for Labor Law Posters: AHA Members recieve discounted rates

2016 Labor Law Posters

Just Released by the American Hotel & Lodging Association:

The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) partnered with WageWatch, Inc. to conduct a national survey of hotel pay practices (the “Survey”).

The survey was conducted from January to August 2014.

Total participation in this survey amounts to 23% of the 53,000 hotels in the
industry today and represents almost half a million employees. The Survey results provided significant insight into the current pay practices
in the lodging industry. The minimum wage in the lodging industry is used mostly as a starting rate for new hires in entry-level positions in front- and
back-of-the-house positions, such as front desk agent and housekeeper. Pay raises usually occur in less than six to nine months, with workers moving up
through the ranks and leading into life-long careers in the hospitality industry. Further, the majority of employees receive extensive benefits packages with flexible hours and continuing education opportunities. Click here to see THE WAGE AND BENEFITS survey

The hotel industry is a leader in business, providing hourly and full-time employees’ fair and reasonable wages in jobs that offer a fast-track to a hospitality career. 

Benefits constitute a significant portion of a non-exempt hotel workers’ total compensation. Benefits serve a strategic function in attracting and retaining a competitive workforce.

Minimum wage positions in the hotel industry offer a fast-track to upward mobility and serve as a gateway for new workers to enter the lodging industry.

Just Released by the National Restaurant Association:

Restaurants Work

  One of three Americans gets their start in the restaurant industry.

While our nation’s economy continues to recover, there remains a strong passion for entrepreneurship in the restaurant industry. Restaurant owners, operators and employees are some of the most motivated, creative and savvy business people in our nation.

Small restaurant businesses are the backbone of countless local communities, with a crucial impact on our nation’s economy. The restaurant industry’s 990,000 locations are expected to support 13.5 million jobs and generate $683.4 billion in sales in 2014.  

The National Restaurant Association’s America Works Here campaign tells the story of America’s restaurant industry — the nation’s second-largest private sector employer and an engine of economic growth. Click here to view the entire campaign.

 MANAGE MY RESTAURANT – Like all retail small businesses, restaurant payment systems can be targets of data security intrusions. 6 measures to protect your network from hackers

 MANAGE MY RESTAURANT – Consider these five patterns identified in the National Restaurant Association’s 2014 Restaurant Industry Forecast. 5 workforce trends to watch for in the restaurant industry


America’s Restaurants — Industry of Opportunity 2014 – As the second largest private-sector employer in the country, America’s restaurants are an economic force, but that statistic doesn’t fully tell the story of the millions of individuals who are living the American Dream by working in our industry. This video captures a few poignant stories that help tell the ‘Industry of Opportunity’ story. America’s Restaurants — Industry of Opportunity 2014


Service Animals

We Welcome Service Animals

Join Us in This Important Effort

Service animals enrich the lives of many disabled Americans by performing vital tasks that increase their owners’ safety, mobility and independence. These animals are not a luxury, but a necessity. By denying a disabled person with a service animal access to your business, you’re exposing yourself to lawsuits and serious penalties. So please join us in welcoming disabled guests and their service animals into your business. It’s the law. And it’s the right thing to do.

“We Welcome Service Animals” is a national campaign created by the California Hotel & Lodging Association Educational Foundation and made possible by funding from the American Hotel & Lodging Foundation and the American Express Foundation to teach people in the hospitality industry and law enforcement how to improve service to disabled guests who depend on service animals for assistance. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), hotels, motels and restaurants are required to treat disabled customers with service animals like all other guests, providing them with the same service and access to all areas where other guests are allowed. Violating the ADA can lead to serious penalties and costly lawsuits. Also denying access to disabled people with service animals is a crime in every state.

Congress passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 to prevent discrimination against persons with disabilities. Among other things, the law guarantees all disabled persons the legal right to be accompanied by a service animal in all areas open to the general public. Failure to comply with the ADA exposes you and your business to lawsuits and serious federal penalties. Other state and local laws against discrimination may also exist in your area.

What is a Service Animal?

Federal law defines a service animal as any guide dog, signal dog or other animal trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability. While most service animals are dogs, other animals, such as miniature horses, are sometimes used. The potentially life-saving tasks they perform may include:

  • guiding individuals who are blind or who have impaired vision
  • alerting individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired to intruders or to sounds, such as fire alarms, telephones and door bells
  • pulling a wheelchair
  • fetching dropped items
  • providing minimal protection or rescue work

You may not always see a service animal performing these tasks — but they’re always on the job, working to make life safer and more rewarding for their owners. Service animals can often be identified by special harnesses or colorful vests they sometimes wear — but these items are not required by law. So if you are uncertain whether an animal is a service animal, simply ask its owner.

Make All Your Guests Feel Welcome

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act:

  • You must allow service animals in your hotel or restaurant — even if you have a “no pets” policy or a health code that prohibits animals in restaurants. Service animals are not pets. The ADA pre-empts health codes on this issue.
  • You may not ask disabled guests to show proof of disability — even if the disability is not readily apparent to you or ask for proof that their animals are “certified” to provide assistance; this is true even if state or local laws provide to the contrary. However, you may ask what service the animal provides.
  • How can I tell if an animal is really a service animal?
    When it is not obvious what service a dog (or miniature horse) provides, only limited inquiries are allowed.
    Staff may ask two questions:
    (1) Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability?
    (2) What work or task has the dog been trained to perform?
    Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification
    card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or
  • You may not restrict disabled guests and their service animals to certain areas — such as smoking floors, “pet rooms” or restaurant smoking sections. They are allowed in all guest rooms, dining rooms and buffets, swimming pools, exercise rooms and any other place guests are normally allowed.
  • You may not charge an extra fee or cleaning deposit for service animals at check-in. However, like any other guests, those with service animals are still responsible for any damage caused by them or their animal.
  • You may eject a service animal that engages in excessive or prolonged barking, or is, eating food off tables, being aggressive or threatening other guests or employees — but this is highly unlikely.
  • You should not touch disabled persons or their service animals without permission — it’s rude and can jeopardize the safety of both.
  • You should not pet, feed or distract a service animal in any way. Remember, they’re not pets — they’re working.
  • Ask disabled guests if they need assistance — don’t assume they do.
  • Remember that service animals have needs too — so try to offer a safe, nearby area where they can be walked to relieve themselves.

Please click here for a printed General Overview that includes information on miniature horses as service animals or for a Service Animals FAQ sheet.

For more information about our “We Welcome Service Animals” program, or please contact Montine McNulty at 501-376-2323 by phone or by e-mail . For more information on the Americans with Disabilities Act, please contact the Department of Justice via the telephone numbers or web site below.

ADA Information Line — Telephone: 1-800-514-0301 (Voice)
ADA Information Line — Telephone: 1-800-514-0301 (TTY)
ADA Homepage:


Another Source for ADA information is the “About the Disability Blog”

Disability.Blog, the official blog of features weekly posts from subject matter experts who address important topics for people with disabilities, their families and others.