Business Briefs: Tip-sharing plan dropped in budget

CBL says 2018 has ‘strong start’

Chattanooga-based mall operator CBL Properties on Friday reported that sales at its properties were off to “a strong start” in the first couple of months of 2018.

Sales per square foot in CBL’s portfolio for reporting tenants under 10,000 square feet increased 5.6 percent during January and February. CBL sales exceeded the National Retail Federation’s 2018 forecast for an increase in retail sales between 3.8 percent and 4.4 percent. NRF reported January sales increased 5.4 percent and February sales grew 4.4 percent over 2017.

“These results reinforce the resilient nature of our market dominant properties and ongoing consumer confidence that we saw over the holiday season as a result of the strong economy,” said Stephen Lebovitz, CEO of CBL Properties, in a statement.

He said that sales were bolstered by performance at its border properties, cold weather in the South which drove winter merchandise sales and a healthy increase in the jewelry category.

Tip-sharing plan dropped in budget

The Trump administration has backed away from a proposed regulation that would have allowed restaurant owners and managers to pocket the tips of their workers.

The change was negotiated by Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Labor Secretary R. Alexander Acosta after the proposal encountered months of opposition. Labor advocacy groups argued that the regulation would transfer billions of dollars from workers to employers.

The restaurant industry had backed the proposal, saying it would allow the tips given to waiters and waitresses to be shared with so-called back-of-house workers, like cooks and dishwashers.

Under the compromise, inserted into the congressional spending bill that won final approval early Friday, federal law would be revised to make clear that employers cannot under any circumstances keep any portion of the tips earned by their workers.

Tips could be redistributed to non-tipped workers only if employers pay all their employees the regular minimum wage in their jurisdiction, as opposed to the lower minimum wage that most states allow for tipped workers.

The tip pool would also have to exclude supervisors, managers and owners. Under the Labor Department’s proposed regulation, a tip pool could have included those groups.

“This protects workers from employers and managers skimming their tips and sets up conditions for better wage justice in restaurants and bars across the country,” said Judy Conti, government affairs director at the National Employment Law Project, a worker advocacy group.

United gives $10,000 to ‘bumped’ passenger

A passenger who was bumped off a full flight has scored the maximum prize — a $10,000 travel voucher.

A spokesman for United Airlines confirmed Friday that an unnamed passenger got the big voucher “per our company policy” after a broken seat meant the airline had too many passengers for a flight from Dulles Airport outside of Washington D.C. to Austin Tex.

The agents continually raised the offer for volunteers to give up their seats, ultimately raising the voucher to $10,000.

Dropbox debuts with price surge

Shares of the digital file storage company Dropbox soared Friday in their stock market debut.

The stock rose $7.48, or 35.6 percent, to close Friday at $28.48 in its first day of trading on Nasdaq. It had climbed as high as $31.60 during the day.

The San Francisco company offered about 26.8 million shares of stock at $21 apiece, while selling shareholders were offering about 9.2 million shares. It had expected to price the shares in a range of $18 to $20.

The company, founded 11 years ago, boasts about 500 million users. It provides services for backing up documents, photos and video. It competes with smaller rival Box Inc., which went public two years ago, as well as technology behemoths Google, Microsoft and Amazon.

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Category: News