Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Commitments and Contingencies

Commitments and Contingencies
9 Months Ended
Sep. 29, 2019
Commitments And Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]  
Commitments and Contingencies

(12) Commitments and Contingencies

The Company is subject to various claims, possible legal actions and other matters arising in the normal course of business. Management does not expect disposition of these other matters to have a material adverse effect on the financial position, results of operations or liquidity of the Company. The Company expenses legal fees as incurred.

The legislation and regulations related to tax and unclaimed property matters are complex and subject to varying interpretations by both government authorities and taxpayers. The Company remits a variety of taxes and fees to various governmental authorities, including excise taxes, property taxes, sales and use taxes, and payroll taxes. The taxes and fees remitted by the Company are subject to review and audit by the applicable governmental authorities which could assert claims for additional assessments. Although management believes that the tax positions are reasonable and consequently there are no accrued liabilities for claims which may be asserted, various taxing authorities may challenge certain of the positions taken by the Company which may result in additional liability for taxes and interest. These tax positions are reviewed periodically based on the availability of new information, the lapsing of applicable statutes of limitations, the conclusion of tax audits, the identification of new tax contingencies, or the rendering of relevant court decisions. An unfavorable resolution of assessments by a governmental authority could negatively impact the Company’s results of operations and cash flows in future periods.

The Company is subject to unclaimed or abandoned property (escheat) laws which require the Company to turn over to certain state governmental authorities the property of others held by the Company that has been unclaimed for specified periods of time. The Company is subject to audit by individual U.S. states with regard to its escheatment practices.

On February 26, 2018, a former restaurant hourly employee filed a class action lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Riverside, alleging that the Company violated the California Labor Code and California Business and Professions Code, by failing to pay minimum wages, pay overtime wages, permit required meal and rest breaks and provide accurate wage statements, among other claims.  This lawsuit seeks unspecified penalties under the California’s Private Attorney’s General Act in addition to other monetary payments (Quiroz Guerrero v. Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc., et al.; Case No RIC1804127).  Although the ultimate outcome of this matter, including any possible loss, cannot be predicted or reasonably estimated at this time, we intend to vigorously defend this matter.

The Company currently buys a majority of its beef from two suppliers. Although there are a limited number of beef suppliers, management believes that other suppliers could provide similar product on comparable terms. A change in suppliers, however, could cause supply shortages and a possible loss of sales, which would affect operating results adversely.