Competitor News

Starbucks is testing coffee ice, that is, frozen Starbucks coffee ice cubes — in about 100 stores in the St. Louis and Baltimore markets for the next 8 weeks. The “coffee ice” can be added to any iced espresso or brewed coffee beverage the company serves, although the barista could probably add the caffeinated ice…

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Tide Turning Fast At NLRB

Especially over the past several years, a majority of decisions made by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were very much labor friendly, as the Obama NLRB dramatically expanded the reach of union organizers and the restrictions on non-union business.  One particular area of expansion results directly from the Board’s Columbia decision (rendered last August),…

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SCOTUS To Decide Tip Pooling Issue

It has been a point of contention – and a source of great income for some in the plaintiff’s bar – for the past several years, but the validity and breadth of tip pooling in the restaurant industry will finally be decided when the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) hears the question this fall. In yet another…

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Courts Are Double-Edged Swords

As we all know only too well, court decisions cut both ways. The real take-away should be caution rather than joy in victory or despair over a defeat. A couple of recent cases underscore the point. A decision rendered by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals points to the possibility that one single racial slur…

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Accommodating Pregnant Workers To Next Level

Speaking of the need for caution and “reasonable accommodation’, the Massachusetts House of Representatives unanimously passed the so-called Pregnant Workers Fairness Act this week. The bill (H.3680) offers pregnant women reasonable accommodation such as, more frequent or longer paid or unpaid breaks, time off to recover from childbirth with or without pay, acquisition or modification…

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No Break from Massachusetts Taxes

Pregnant or not, they’ll be no reasonable accommodation that costs Massachusetts its tax dollar! The state’s House of Representatives rejected the idea of a permanent weekend tax holiday when they passed and sent the Fiscal Year 2018 budget to the Senate. Representatives rejected a proposal to forego the sales tax every year on the third…

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Pennsylvania Offers Tax Amnesty

Taking a different view on the sanctity of tax dollars, the state of Pennsylvania has a two month tax amnesty program currently in place for those who may have, eh, um “miscalculated” their state tax obligation in prior years. The program, which began in late April, allows eligible individuals and businesses to apply to pay…

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Right To Work Still in Play

An unlikely result is still in play in the state of Maine, as the legislature there continues to entertain a proposal to make Maine the 29th state in the union with a right-to-work law on its books. Longshot or not, right to work legislation was the subject of a raucous public hearing before the Labor,…

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Miscellaneous

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is continuing its attacks on McDonald’s with its latest call for an investigation of the rents that the Golden Arches are charging their franchisees and the impact those rents may have on McDonalds workers in franchised locations. The union behind the “Fight for $15” effort has formally requested that the…

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FDA Kicks Menu Labeling Down The Road

Although we have to believe most affected restaurant chains were all ready for the new menu labeling requirements to become effective today, May 5 – it’s not necessarily a bad turn of events that the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is delaying implementation of the mandate until 2018. The requirement, which was mandated as part…

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