Philly Beverage Tax Upheld, Proceeds Down

A Pennsylvania Appeals court on Wednesday rejected a challenge brought by the beverage industry and a couple of consumers to the Philadelphia tax on sugary beverages. The lawsuit alleged that the soda tax violated a provision in the Pennsylvania state constitution that prohibits any duplication of the state sales and use tax, but the appeals…

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“To Tax or Not To Tax?”

Shakespeare might have put it that way, but the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois stated it much more directly last week in ruling that a Dunkin’ franchisee had not violated Illinois law by collecting a higher rate of sales tax on certain items than ultimately was necessary.  The issue in Bartolotta…

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States, Business Challenge Overtime Rule

Two major lawsuits have been filed in federal courts in Texas challenging the new Department of Labor overtime rule set to take effect on December 1.  Some 20 other states joined Texas in a challenge alleging that the new mandate violates the 10th Amendment of the US Constitution (the “State’s Rights amendment”).  This particular complaint…

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Appeals Court Allows LA Hotel Worker Minimum to Stand

A three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has allowed a lower court ruling to stand, rejecting a challenge brought against the Los Angeles Fair Wage Ordinance.  The 2014 fair-wage law required hotels with more than 150 hotel rooms to pay their workers a minimum of $15.37 per hour and was challenged…

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Texas Court Trashes Plastic Bag Ban

A Texas Appeals Court has tossed out a local ordinance in Laredo that banned the use of single-use plastic bags.  The ordinance, one of many similar local fiats throughout Texas and across the country, was overturned ostensibly because of a Texas statute that prohibits local governments from restricting the sale or use of certain containers…

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Court Blocks Right-To-Work

Last week, a West Virginia Circuit Court judge granted a preliminary injunction to the West Virginia AFL-CIO and 11 other labor unions in the Mountain State preventing its right-to-work law from taking effect.  As justification for her decision, Judge Jennifer Bailey pointed to the fact that the state law provides for criminal charges and civil…

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Caesars “Craps Out” with NLRB

It is a sure bet that under the current administration, the NLRB has no intention of taking its foot off the throat of non-union business.  If you need a recent example, we’d point you to its decision a few weeks ago against Caesar’s Entertainment (specifically, the Rio Suites Hotel & Casino, site of the 2014…

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SCOTUS Split Gives Unions Victory

With the untimely passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia 6 weeks ago, court watchers immediately began speculating how his absence (and his unfilled seat) would impact a host of important cases pending before the court.  We got our first taste this week as the court announced a 4 – 4 split decision in Friedrichs…

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DOL Persuader Rule Challenged in Court

Speaking of federal courts, it seems the US District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas just became ground zero for the initial fight over the Department of Labor Union Persuader Rule, just finalized last week.  In response, a lawsuit was filed this week by the National Association of Manufacturers, the Arkansas Chamber of Commerce…

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FMLA Liability Can Be Far-Reaching

Our friends at the law firm of Murtha Culina advise us of an important appellate level court decision rendered last week that should send shivers around the human resources department.  The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals rendered a decision last week that under certain readings of the Family Medical Leave Act, a company’s human resources…

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