Something's gotten into government this year. Here's why you should care

Working Lunch: The past week has brought at least one long-awaited and controversial regulatory change. But that's not all that's happening.

Coffee must be flowing more freely than usual these days in Washington, D.C. How else to explain the federal government’s amped-up start to the new year?

The U.S. Department of Labor issued its long-awaited final guideline for deciding when quasi-independent workers like delivery drivers are actually employees entitled to the same pay and benefits as full-fledged hires.

Meanwhile, Congress has taken up a resolution to quash the National Labor Relations Board’s redefinition of “joint employer,” one of the Biden administration’s most controversial dictates on the labor front.

Then again, state governments are not exactly sitting idle, either, with legislatures taking up issues as far afield as tweaking menu-labeling requirements and killing the tip credit.

How is the flurry of governmental and political activity likely to affect restaurants? Join veteran industry lobbyists Joe Kefauver and Franklin Coley, co-hosts of the Working Lunch political-affairs podcast, for a debrief.

This week’s episode also resolves the pressing issue of what sandwich and dessert to order during your next visit to a Panera Bread.

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