Federal Issues & Resources

The Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA) is part of the National Restaurant Association (NRA). Together in 2016, the two groups have fought for federal reforms, such as:

On health care, the NRA successfully repealed the automatic enrollment mandate and fought to delay costly health care taxes. The NRA also successfully worked with Congress to revise rules on the small-employer market and health care reimbursement accounts (HRAs) to help control costs for smaller restaurants. Finally, the NRA successfully delayed reporting rules multiple times for larger employers, and alerted Congress to the problems these rules are causing for employers.

On overtime, the NRA worked for two years to explain the challenges restaurateurs face with federal overtime regulations. NRA's input was critical in preventing the Department of Labor (DOL) from establishing a new duties test for exempt employees in the final rule the agency published in June. The NRA and members filed more than 5,000 comments on the overtime proposal, and the DOL in its final rule cited our industry's input 39 times, and the NRA's comments 22 times. Now that a federal district court has put the December 1, 2016, effective date of the regulation on temporary hold as legal challenges remain pending, we continue to drive the debate at the grassroots level, as well as in Congress, the courts and the incoming Trump Administration to make the case that any federal overtime rule should not impose a new salary threshold for exempt employees that goes too far, too fast.

On GMO labeling, the NRA participated in a coalition of food and beverage associations to pass a federal law that preempts confusing state and local GMO labeling mandates and largely exempts restaurants from any labeling requirements.

On nutrition policy, the NRA continues to work with FDA to represent the voice of restaurant and foodservice operators on a number of issues: sodium-reduction initiatives, regulation of partially hydrogenated oils, changes in the Nutrition Facts food panel, and the implementation of the menu-labeling law set to take effect May 5, 2017.