June 2017

AKFCF Convention Planning Committee Update

At the end of the month, the AKFCF Convention Planning Committee will be heading to Anaheim to begin brainstorming ideas, developing agendas and planning for the 2018 Annual Convention. Since March, we have been working closely with the Anaheim Marriott, Convention Center and Visitors Bureau on a number of items in preparation for the initial committee meeting.

We have never held the Convention in Anaheim and like Austin, we think this new destination will prove to be a noteworthy one. This sundrenched Southern California city, located between Los Angeles and San Diego, is best known as the home to the Disneyland® Resort. This destination offers world-famous theme parks and attractions, celebrated restaurants, award-winning local craft breweries, specialty shops, pro sports, cultural museums, top entertainment and unlimited outdoor recreation. Even if you are not about the amusement parks, Anaheim is within close proximity to many popular coastal towns including:

HUNTINGTON BEACH – known as “Surf City USA”, this relaxed beach community is 15 miles from Anaheim and features boutique shopping on Main Street, a beautiful pier, and the newly opened Pacific City with views of the ocean at almost every turn. 

LAGUNA BEACH – home to many internationally renowned artists, this beach city is 20 miles from Anaheim and offers unique dining, tree-lined streets and some of the best views of the entire coastline.

NEWPORT BEACH – this community is 15 miles from Anaheim and is home to Roger’s Gardens, Fashion Island, Sherman’s Library & Gardens, and the famous Balboa Island Ferry

Over the next few months, we will share more on Anaheim and all it has to offer during your stay at Convention.

For now, please go to www.visitanaheim.org for more information on the home of our 2018 Convention.

GAC Report June 2017

The AKFCF is a member of the Coalition to Save Local Business (CSLB), which is a diverse group of locally owned, independent small businesses, associations and organizations. The group is dedicated to protecting and strengthening all sectors of small business, which are now under attack by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an unelected regulatory body of five Washington bureaucrats. The Coalition’s goal is to maintain the current joint employer legal standard across federal and state statutes.

What’s at Stake? The franchise model is in peril and all contractual business relationships could be at risk due to pending NLRB cases. Government officials in Washington are likely to adopt a new standard of “joint employer.” This could have serious negative consequences that will go beyond franchise businesses and affect any business that partners or subcontracts with outside vendors and suppliers. Upending the current, well-established, joint employer standard would cause uncertainty and disruption for many small business owners, force some small businesses to close and deter aspiring entrepreneurs from opening businesses and creating new jobs.

Recent Activity on Capitol Hill: In early April, Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) sent a bipartisan letter to the House Appropriations Committee calling for inclusion of a joint-employer provision in the Fiscal Year 2018 Labor-HHS bill.

The letter had 57 signers, including 3 Democrats: Messrs. Cuellar, Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Jim Costa (D-CA).

In the letter, lawmakers said the NRLB’s 2015 Browning-Ferris decision has confused and frustrated their constituents, and it requires a legislative solution. Additionally, in a June 2016 report by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and International Franchise Association, franchise and contract businesses are facing more operational and legal costs, decreased business values, less compliance assistance from franchisors, less growth and fewer jobs as consequences of the new joint employer policy.

Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress.

You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute.

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).   

May 2017

Why Join an AKFCF Committee?

The opportunity to join and participate in the work of the committees is among the most effective and rewarding benefits of membership in the Association.  These committees play an important role in our organization by providing our Board of Directors with vital information and guidance as well as assisting the AKFCF staff in providing better services to the membership. Whether you choose to volunteer to gain additional leadership opportunities, build your network, increase exposure in the franchisee community, or give back to the system, AKFCF is committed to providing you with a meaningful experience. One of the great things about committee involvement is that it benefits franchisees at all stages of their careers. 
 
Committees have a clear understanding of their scope of work and goals. They each have an experienced chair who knows how to lead and run meetings. There is a solid match between the interests, skills and experience of individual committee members and the needs and requirements of the committee. The committees have accountability and are in sync with the Board on the Association’s strategic direction. They provide a strategic focus for discussions and have prioritized agendas. 
 
AKFCF hosts 10 member committees dedicated to identifying and addressing specific association issues of importance to the franchisees. The committees include:
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Convention
  • Communications
  • Governmental Affairs
  • Leadership Development
  • Partnership Survey
  • Archiving
  • Nominating
  • Technology
It’s important to recognize committees or active committee members for their hard work and achievements. Always remember that committees are incubators for existing and future association leaders to collaborate, identify opportunities and implement new programs that keep an association fresh and forward-looking!
 
We encourage all AKFCF members to consider the value of participating in one or more of our committees.  Eric Overcash, incoming AKFCF President will be working closely with the Committee Chairs over the next two months to finalize the members on these committees for the coming year.
 
For more information on each committee, please visit the AKFCF Members Only Area on the website. We encourage you to contact the Committee Chair directly with any questions or concerns.

GAC Report May 2017

The Financial CHOICE Act is a bill sponsored by House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) that repeals many aspects of Dodd-Frank. After a grueling three-day markup of the bill, the Financial CHOICE Act passed out of the Committee on Thursday, May 4, 2017 by a vote of 34-26. 
 
The Financial CHOICE Act is important to the AKFCF because there is language in the bill that would repeal the Durbin Amendment and the regulations that limit credit card swipe fees.
 
The Durbin Amendment Simplified:
Whenever consumers use a credit card or debit card to make a purchase, the merchant’s bank skims a percentage off the top. These hidden swipe fees drive up the price of merchandise, costing the average American family more than $400 a year through higher prices.
 
Credit card swipe fees make up $2-$3 out of every $100 consumers spend in stores or online.
 
The Durbin Amendment cut debit card swipe fees roughly in half, from about 45 cents on a typical transaction to about 22 cents, saving consumers about $6 billion a year.
 
Repealing the Durbin Amendment would mean higher prices for consumers and a lost opportunity to insert competition into the market.
 
The Path Forward:
The Financial CHOICE Act is a huge overhaul of America’s financial system and will be difficult to sign into law even though Republicans control the House, Senate and Presidency.
 
In recent news, Chairman Jeb Hensarling has signaled that the future of the amendment is unclear, while acknowledging that the division over the amendment doesn’t neatly match party lines.
 
“I know that we have members on both sides of the aisle that may be a little conflicted on the issue… We’re still listening,” said Hensarling, who added that he is “convinced that we will get the Financial Choice Act passed, regardless of the outcome of Durbin.”
 
Republicans who oppose the original amendment and support its repeal do so because they don’t believe the government should be in the business of setting prices, however they disagree over who should bear the cost – businesses or consumers.
 
Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress.
 
You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute.
 
For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com). 
 

April 2017

Kelly’s Corner: The Survey Results Are In!

By Kelly Rodenburg
 
Each year we send out an evaluation form within one week after Convention to all attendees for their comments, ratings and suggestions. The deadline to respond was March 31st. 

Respondents had the option to be entered into a random drawing for two complimentary registrations and three hotel nights at the 2018 Convention in Anaheim.  The winner is Nicole Helf of H&K Partners in Milwaukee Wisconsin!

Below are just a few highlights of the survey for your review:

Overall Experience at the 2017 Annual AKFCF Convention
  • 53% of respondents rated it as Good, where 41% rated it as Excellent
Top Three Reasons for Attending
  • Content
  • Personal Growth and Development
  • KFCC Presentations
Keynote Presenter with Highest Rating
  • Kevin Hochman - 57% of attendees rating him as Excellent
Highest Rated Workshops
  • Leadership Workshop with Justin Patton
  • Annual Legal Update with Ron Gardner
  • Establishing a Personal Board of Directors for Your Life
Welcome Reception in Convention Center
  • With over 200 vendors, local food truck fare and live music, 49% of attendees said this was an exceptional event!
Town Hall
  • Over 69% of Convention franchisees attended with 64% of them saying the content was of great value
Texas Shindig
  • 70% of attendees thought Little Big Town was Excellent
  • 49% of attendees felt that Austin City Limits was an Excellent venue
  • 87% agreed that we should have an auction to raise money for a charity
  • 29% said they would like to hear a country artist in 2018
  • 76% of attendees said they preferred having this large event in the beginning of the week
85% of attendees used the mobile app and found it to be helpful

68% liked have two social events outside of the hotel

Future Convention Destinations Rated by Response
  • Nashville
  • New Orleans
  • Phoenix
The 2018 Convention Committee will be meeting in June to start work on next year’s Convention in Anaheim. If you any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me or Eric Overcash at eovercash@oincorporated.com.
 

GAC Report

By Dan Gans and Mary Donohue
 
The AKFCF Government Affairs Committee (GAC) just completed their spring Washington, DC Fly-In this past March 21st – 23rd, 2017. The fly-in is an opportunity for KFC franchisees, on and off the GAC, to meet with Members of Congress and staff to discuss current legislative and business issues. We had an extremely successful fly-in last month and are excited to share the metrics with the entirety of the AKFCF.

On Tuesday, March 21st the AKFCF hosted an informational reception in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill, which was an opportunity for franchisees to mingle and meet staff and Members of Congress in a casual setting. The AKFCF served KFC to just under 1,000 attendees in two hours with very little food remaining.

On Wednesday, March 22nd, the fly-in attendees met with 22 Senate offices and 30 House offices in just a few short hours, proving to be one of our largest and comprehensive fly-ins to date. Almost all attendees met with the offices of either their Congressman, Senator or Member of Congress that holds the seat where they own and operate their businesses.

Intermittent with the Capitol Hill meetings, we hosted fundraisers for Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), Rep. Jeff Denham (R-CA), and Senator Dean Heller (R-NV). Each fundraiser was a huge success and allowed attendees to spend quality, intimate time getting to know each member.

Spring 2017 Fly-In Top Issues: This fly-in focused on tax reform, ACA repeal/replace, repealing the RFS, overtime reform, NRLB joint employer and a variety of other issues. Even though the ACA repeal/replace was ultimately unsuccessful, the GAC was on the Hill and in offices just days before the scheduled vote; further educating legislators on the importance of the bill.

The following is a breakdown of the issues the AKFCF GAC discussed during the fly-in:

Tax Reform
The AKFCF supports efforts to simplify and streamline the Federal Tax Code
  • The AKFCF supports reducing corporate tax rates, but only if a comparable tax reduction/reform is provided to small business owners who operate as an LLC or S-Corps
  • The AKFCF opposes the Biodiesel Tax Credit – the $1 biodiesel tax credit expired at the end of 2016
  1. There is a lot of discussion to extend this credit for 2017 and to switch this credit to a producer’s credit
  2. If extended, it would effectively shut off the imported supply of biodiesel into the U.S.
  3. This would lead to a 30% to 40% surge in the amount of soybean oil that is converted into biodiesel and would likely deplete all domestic inventories of soybean oil in the U.S.
Ethanol – Repeal the RFS
  • Current market prices of $3.60/bushel remain 57% higher than the average price level that existed prior to the implementation of the RFS II
  • The increased percentage costs have resulted in feed cost inflation for the poultry industry and ultimately higher chicken costs
  • If corn prices remain 57% higher than the historical average when weather has been ideal, a shift in weather patterns will increase costs significantly, and result in more inflation.
  • These higher ingredient costs have led to substantial impacts to the restaurant operator as PwC estimates, quick serve restaurant operator costs have risen by at least $18,000 per store, per year due to the RFS
Overtime Reform
  • The DOL proposed regulation is currently blocked by a preliminary injunction (PI) issued on 11/22/16
  • There are no definitive signals yet as to how long the incoming Trump administration will respond to the legal challenge or if they will pursue a new regulation
  • Recently, the DOJ asked for an extension to file a reply brief against the appeal of the preliminary injunction
  • The original rule as outlined was bad for employers and employees in a variety of ways. Ensuring harmful legislation like this does not get introduced in the future is a top priority for the AKFCF
NRLB Joint Employer
  • In August 2015, the NLRB created a “Joint Employer” standard in federal labor laws by deciding that prime companies may be held liable for the employment and labor actions of franchisees, over which they have no direct control
  • An expanded Joint Employer standard would be bad for franchisors and franchisees alike by pulling back resources and support for franchisees
  • Due to this new liability, prime companies may be compelled to exercise more control over small businesses with which they contract to limit their NLRA (National Labor Relations Act) liability
  • The Joint Employer standard threatens practically every private sector business in America, large and small and thus, America’s Main Street small businesses created by independent owners in their local communities will diminish
Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress.

You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute.

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).
 

March 2017

GAC Report

By Dan Gans and Mary Donohue
 
The AKFCF Government Affairs Committee (GAC) had an extremely successful convention in Austin, TX. We are still calculating our final totals, but we are extremely thankful for all of you who took the time to donate to the PAC and GAC—thank you again!
 
The GAC is responsible for communicating legislative information to franchisees as well as communicating franchisee concerns to legislators. The committee hosts annual fly-ins in Washington, D.C., where franchisees meet with their members of Congress, participate in fundraisers, and host a reception in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill. The Rayburn Reception serves more than 1,500 staff and members of Congress each year, and the funds raised for the GAC through personal and corporate donations are what fund this outreach effort. 
 
The Political Action Committee (PAC) is a separate committee from the GAC with its own charter and bylaws. The Federal Elections Committee (FEC) carefully regulates it, and its only purpose is to contribute funds to members of Congress and to congressional candidates. We need our PAC funds to ensure pro-business candidates are elected each Congress. 
 
As of January 1st, the AKFCF GAC has been accepting PAC donations for the 2017 cycle. In the past, we have suggested that franchisees donate $100/store, per year. However, we cannot stress enough that this amount should be the minimum donation for each franchisee instead of the maximum. The AKFCF GAC is struggling to support members of Congress who will continue to perpetuate business-friendly legislation. Without your support, the AKFCF’s interests will not accurately be portrayed and our presence on Capitol Hill will dwindle. 
 
This past year, the AKFCF was faced with a serious overtime issue that was set to go into effect the week of Dec. 1, 2016. The new rule would have doubled the salary threshold for employees to qualify as exempt from overtime pay requirements from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year. The delay came as a great relief to franchisees, but the fix is far from over; the rule still could be implemented after the full hearing in the courts. To make this rule disappear permanently, the Trump Administration or Congress must act and either issue a new rule or make changes to the existing rule. 
 
Without your donations, the AKFCF GAC will not be able to effectively represent KFC franchisees’ interests regarding the overtime fix in the new Congress. Additionally, several high-profile pieces of legislation that could drastically impact your businesses will be re-introduced this Congress including, but not limited to, issues surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), and the NLRB joint employer standard.
 
To past donors, and to those of you who donated at convention, the AKFCF would like to extend a sincere thank you for your support. Thank you again for recognizing the importance and necessity of the PAC in today’s political and business-centric world and for your continued support again this year. 
 
You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute. For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).  
 

Thank You KFC Family for Stacking the Shelves!

By Kelly Rodenberg

This was the first time in a few years that the AKFCF has not had a hands-on Community Service Event at Convention. Because of the way the dates fell this year, we were not able to find an organization to accommodate our group size on a Sunday.

So instead, we asked each attendee to give back in another way, to bring a children’s book, stuffed animal or small children’s activity to Convention with them that would be donated to two local Shriners Hospitals. The two hospitals were Shriners Hospitals for Children-Houston and Shriners Hospitals for Children-Galveston Burns Hospital. 

Shriners Hospitals for Children-Houston is a children’s orthopedic hospital in Houston, Texas, with 40 beds. Survey data for the latest year available shows that the hospital had a total of 535 admissions. Its physicians performed 271 in-patient and 566 out-patient surgeries.

Shriners Hospitals for Children-Galveston Burns Hospital is a 15-bed facility in Galveston, Texas. Survey data for the latest year available shows that the hospital had a total of 216 admissions. Its physicians performed 601 in-patient and 1,122 out-patient surgeries.

On Sunday, when registration opened, we could not have been more grateful, excited, and humbled by our KFC family’s generosity. It was an amazing sight to watch as the shelves overflowed more each day. We collected a total of 15 large boxes worth of items for the children. The items were divided and sent to the two hospitals.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research, and outstanding medical education. Their 22 locations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, provide advanced care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. Learn more at shrinershospitalsforchildren.org

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Thank you again for opening your hearts!

 

Regional Report: Great Lakes

By Mary Beth Hamilton
 
Great Lakes January 2017 board meetingOn Jan. 25, 2017, the Great Lakes Board Members met in Las Vegas for a strategy planning meeting with Jeannie Coyle as our facilitator. The strategies discussed were as follows:
 
1.  Include more development in member activities to increase value to members, attract more active members.
2.  Strengthen Board and committee accountability through structures, plans, and activities while developing leaders.
3.  Focus energy, time and attention of board, members and committees by streamlining the number of meetings, committees, members, and board members.
 
A new mission statement for the Great Lakes Association was decided on: Develop and empower franchisee business leaders to strengthen our Great Lakes KFC Association.
 
Along with valuable planning for our future association, we were also able to have some fun fellowship as a franchise family. We toured Count’s Kustoms from the History Channel show Counting Cars. We then had dinner at their restaurant, Count’s Vamp’d.
 
Count's Kustoms Count's Kustoms Count's Vamp'd

February 2017

GAC Report: The Trump Administration

By Dan Gans and Mary Donohue
 
Regulatory Reform
President Trump’s White House victory certainly does promise significant changes to the nation’s businesses. Earlier this week, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) directing regulators that, for every rule promulgated, two shall be identified for elimination. While a great deal still needs to be clarified, this EO is an important step in easing the regulatory burden on America’s small businesses. While it is good that the president has made regulatory reform a priority, significant relief will still require congressional action. In addition to supporting the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, Congress needs to agree on a new way to approach regulation entirely. 
 
NLRB Joint Employer
President Trump’s policies on labor and employment remain largely unclear, but many laws promulgated by the Obama administration, including the rulings by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), may be challenged by the new Republican administration. The NLRB’s Joint Employer ruling in the Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) case, found that in a relationship between two companies, an “indirect relationship” was sufficient to make both companies joint employers. Thus, one entity may be liable for the acts or omissions of the other entity, i.e., a franchisor may be liable for the acts of a franchisee. This decision could largely impact the franchisee-franchisor relationship and has the potential to disrupt the entire franchisee model of business. If Trump and the Republicans in the Senate fill the two vacant seats at the NLRB, the board could attempt to take back the cause from the circuit court before it issues a decision, disrupting the process. The U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C., is considering whether the NRLB is using a correct standard in determining whether two businesses can be considered joint employers. If the two vacant seats are filled with conservative nominees, the board could petition to withdraw the case. However, the Trump administration can’t replace Richard Griffin, the NLRB’s general counsel, who has past ties to labor unions and is the “gatekeeper” in determining which cases are brought before the board. President Trump can’t fill that position until after November. Post-November, Trump could replace the position with someone who could make it more difficult to bring such cases to the NLRB. 
 
Andy Puzder, Labor Secretary 
The nomination of Andy Puzder for Labor Secretary is a great thing for franchisees as Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants (Hardees’, Carl’s., and Green Burrito brands), has been a major critic of the Obama overtime effort. It is highly unlikely the Trump administration will support the Overtime rule, bringing great relief to the QSR industry. Puzder’s hearing dates have been pushed back a few times. This has been largely due to paperwork issues with the ethics department. The new administration needs to make sure all their nominees meet the ethics requirements before they head to their confirmation hearings. They’ve had problems thus far with other nominees, and would like to avoid further delays. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on the nomination for Puzder to be Labor Secretary will take place on Tuesday, February 7 at 10:00 a.m. EST. 
 

Share Your Voice at AKFCF’s Town Hall in Austin

By Kelly Rodenberg
 

The 2017 AKFCF Convention is only three weeks away and I look forward to seeing you all in Austin. With the opportunities and challenges facing you today in your restaurants, I encourage you to attend our Town Hall scheduled for Wednesday, March 1st from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. This year’s Town Hall will be moderated by our 1st VP, Eric Overcash. The AKFCF Town Hall is for franchisees only and provides an opportunity for you to share your voice and vision with colleagues and your AKFCF leadership. Reports will include:

• Government Affairs with Dan Gans and Peg Duenow
 

• Partnership Survey Results with Alessio DiFranco

• RSCS Update with Chris Held and Brandon Robertson

• OEC Report by Tom Broome

• REC Brief by Jamie Jackson

 

After the above reports are provided, Tom Slater, NCAC vice chair; Ron Gardner, AKFCF legal counsel; and Greg Atwell, AKFCF president will join the panel to answer any questions and address any concerns you have. If you are unable to attend or want to submit a question in advance, send them to austinconv@gmail.com.

 

If you have not already, please take time to review the results of the partnership survey in advance by clicking here: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/8064b37c#/8064b37c/1  

 

Don't Risk Paying a No-Show Fee!

Both of the social events in Austin require a 72-hour cancellation so as not to incur a $150 penalty. If you previously indicated you would be attending the event at Austin City Limits on Monday night and your plans have changed, you must cancel in writing by Thursday, February 23rd in order not to be charged. It will be too late to cancel when you pick up your badge on site in Austin on Sunday.

 

If you are confirmed or were on the waiting list for the Wednesday evening event at Speakeasy, you will have a ticket with your name badge when you pick it up in Austin. If you are not able to attend, you must return your ticket at that time or you will be charged as a no-show.

 

AKFCF Community Service: 

Stack the Shelves for Shriners!

The Hospitals ask that we donate only new items so we are not spreading germs or other stuff to sick or hurt kids. Kids' books for children of all ages are accepted. From little kid board books to large chapter books are welcome. Books with CDs are great as it can be nice for kids to be able to just listen. Picture books, books with humor, or other uplifting story lines are always a nice fit. Books that can be read aloud are appreciated by families and friends of the kids in the hospital.  

 

Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. Their 22 locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico, provide advanced care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. Learn more at www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.  

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

January 2017

GAC Report: Overtime Update – Status of Overtime Rule 

By Dan Gans and Mary Donohue

Litigation
As you know, the regulation is currently blocked by a preliminary injunction (PI) issued by U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant on November 22. The federal government has filed to appeal this PI to the 5th Cir. Ct. of Appeals, and their motion for expedited consideration has been granted. Under that request, the last briefs will be due January 31 with oral arguments to follow at a later date, with a decision after that. The key point is that this appeal will carry over into the Trump administration, and the new administration must decide whether to continue with the appeal (i.e. defending the regulation), or abandon the appeal and let the injunction stand.

Still pending before Judge Mazzant is the business groups’ Motion for Summary Judgment. If Judge Mazzant grants this motion, it would result in a permanent injunction and moot the appeal of the PI, forcing the government to reinitiate an appeal of the permanent injunction. Obviously, such an appeal also would carry over into the Trump administration.

The AFL-CIO will be petitioning to intervene in the case at the District Court level. This is a petition that must first be granted by the judge, and would not alter the underlying legal posture of the case—the PI would remain, and the arguments would not change. The only impact is that if the Trump administration does not continue the appeal, there now would be a party that could.

Incoming Trump Administration
When the new administration takes office after January 20, this regulation will be one of the first items with which it must deal. As noted above, the most immediate question will be whether to continue defending the regulation though the legal appeal process. If the new administration declines to continue the appeal, it would no longer be a party. If the AFL-CIO (or another outside party) is granted intervenor status, the appeal would continue to some final resolution. If no other party is granted intervenor status, and the government declines to pursue the appeal, then the injunction would stand and the regulation would remain blocked.

If the regulation is permanently enjoined, then the next question faced by the new administration would be whether to pursue a revised overtime regulation. While Secretary of Labor nominee Andrew Puzder has spoken out strongly against the Obama Administration overtime regulation, we do not yet have any indication about what approach the new administration would take regarding a new overtime rulemaking.

Conclusion
The rule is blocked from going into effect until further notice. Any change in that status cannot come until sometime in February at the absolute earliest, and likely later than that. There are no signals yet as to how the incoming Trump administration will respond to the legal challenge, or whether it will pursue a new regulation. 

 

Leadership Development

By Kelly Rodenberg
 
Just like first-time meeting attendees, first-time association leaders who have to speak in public require some special TLC, not only to make them feel welcome and prepared but also to ensure that they deliver a message your attendees will appreciate and value. 
 
For many new leaders coming up in the ranks, it will be his/her first time speaking as an expert on stage to a group of his/her peers, and they are plenty nervous.
 
It’s unlikely that first-time speakers can ever be over-prepared, so arm them with all the information they need to have.
 
While we can assure them that they’ll rock the session, their nerves got us thinking: How can AKFCF welcome and best prepare new leaders for their upcoming gigs? AKFCF’s Leadership Committee Chair, Joan Bowling and AKFCF’s Executive Producer, Chip Booth will be conducting a hands-on workshop at the end of the month for new and future AKFCF leaders on exactly this topic.
 
The good news is that many of the regions do put some effort into preparing this group of leaders. But whether they do it currently or are looking to up their preparedness game, here are a few ideas to consider:
 
Just like exhibitors want to know what your association’s tradeshow audience and buyer ratio is before they purchase a booth, your leaders/speakers—especially your first-timers—want to know with whom they will be speaking. In addition to a traditional exhibitor list, you also may want to consider a speaker guide. The information should include: stats about your attendees and their restaurants, top issues important to your audience, previous session topics that have evaluated well, conference logistics and theme description. 
 
Speaking of experienced leaders, why not invite them to serve as mentors for your newbies? They can share the presentation styles that have worked for them, their insights into the audience, and even challenges they’ve faced. Those chosen can each provide advice and guidance to one mentee on how to either become an AKFCF leader or how to improve speaking skills.
 
It’s unlikely that first-time leaders can ever be over-prepared, so arm them with all the information they need on practical matters such as how slides should be formatted or what they should name their session. Ensure the session title and description match the intended content and outcomes, and provide specific takeaways and action items for attendees to enhance their own organizational efficiencies. You may even consider assigning a committee member or past president to work directly with leaders to provide direction and audience insight as they develop their presentations.
 
We are excited for this upcoming workshop and look forward to the excellent presentations from our leaders that will come from this type of training.
 
 

December 2016

GAC Report: Overtime Update

By Dan Gans and Mary Donohue
 
As you know, the final FLSA overtime rule was set to go into effect on Dec. 1, 2016. The new rule would double the salary threshold for employees to qualify as exempt from overtime pay requirements from $23,660 per year to $47,476 per year. It also includes a provision to automatically update this salary threshold every three years beginning in 2020.

A lawsuit filed by 21 states challenging the new rule was consolidated with another challenge brought by multiple trade associations. Last week, the federal court judge granted a preliminary injunction of the entire rule prior to its December 1 effective date.  

In issuing the nationwide injunction, the court struck down the excessively high salary threshold and the automatic updating mechanism under the final rule. 

The practical impacts of this ruling are: