The National Restaurant Association (NRA) has filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate a New York City law requiring fast-food restaurants to remit voluntary deductions from employees’ wages to nonprofit groups, including “ideological and political organizations with whom those employers may and do disagree.” Rest. Law Ctr. v. City of New York, No. 17-9128 (S.D.N.Y., filed November 21, 2017).

NRA asserts that the city’s “Deduction Bill,” which took effect November 26, 2017, violates the free speech rights of restaurant owners by compelling them to subsidize nonprofits that advocate for labor-related issues such as higher minimum wages. The law resulted from lobbying by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the complaint argues, and is ultimately intended to force restaurants to allow unionization of fast-food employees. The Deduction Bill bars labor organizations from seeking remittances, but NRA asserts that “Fast Food Justice,” a group working toward registration as a qualifying nonprofit, shares a mailing address with a SEIU location and receives most of its operating funds from the union.

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For decades, manufacturers, distributors and retailers at every link in the food chain have come to Shook, Hardy & Bacon to partner with a legal team that understands the issues they face in today's evolving food production industry. Shook attorneys work with some of the world's largest food, beverage and agribusiness companies to establish preventative measures, conduct internal audits, develop public relations strategies, and advance tort reform initiatives.

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