Seattle Joins Soda Tax Brigade

From the Pacific Northwest, effective January 1, 2018, Seattle becomes the latest city to impose a new tax on so-called sugary drinks as the city will begin charging a new 1.75 cents per ounce tax on the distribution of sodas and other sweetened beverages. Technically, the tax will be imposed on beverage distributors, but they…

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Then A Big Bang, in Court

In a precedent setting decision rendered earlier this month in a California court, noted franchisee attorney Robert Zarco (Zarco Einhorn, Salkowski & Brito, P.A.) won a significant jury verdict against franchisor El Pollo Loco, Inc. that the company breached the implied covenant of food faith and fair dealing by failing to offer new encroaching restaurants…

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SCOTUS To Hear Right to Work

Speaking of upcoming court hearings and precedential decisions, the United States Supreme Court (SCOTUS) will hear oral arguments in the case of Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) on February 26 according to the court’s February hearings calendar, just released on Wednesday. The Janus case, coming out of Illinois, presents…

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Baltimore Food Trucks Win Court Fight

Efforts by Baltimore to limit the locations of Food Trucks around the city that compete with brick-and-mortar businesses selling the same products were finally stopped in their tracks this week. A Baltimore City Circuit court judge found that the 2014 ordinance that prohibited food trucks from operating within 300 feet of a brick-and-mortar business offering…

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Banned in Boston

That term actually originated back in the 17th century and mostly stemmed from the Puritan roots of Massachusetts’ earlier settlers. It generally referred to a literary work, song, picture or play that was prohibited from being distributed or exhibited in Boston because of “objectionable” content. Regrettably, it now more accurately illustrates the endless nanny-state leanings…

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Staying In Compliance

There may be much happening now in DC, but we must stay on top of the changes that are regularly taking effect at the state and local level – and ensuring that we are in compliance with the dictates. A good case in point is New York City, where “fair workweek laws” became effective just…

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Massachusetts Ballot Issues Advancing

The proponents are already claiming they’ve collected enough valid voter signatures in Massachusetts to put a couple of wage and paid leave proposals before the voters on the 2018 state ballot. The non-profit RaiseUp Massachusetts said last week that their wage ballot and paid leave measures each had more than double the required 64,750 valid…

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Maryland Governor Files Sick Leave Bill

As a further case in point as to the spread of paid sick leave, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced he will file two paid sick leave bills for consideration during the upcoming legislative session. Last session, the Maryland legislature passed the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, a sick leave bill which Hogan vetoed as being…

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Right To Work On SCOTUS & Ballot

With a full complement of 9 Justices now sitting on the Supreme Court bench, it appears likely that SCOTUS will finally revisit the Abood v Detroit Board of Education decision rendered back in 1977. That decision by the Berger Court granted unions the right to collect “fees” from employees even though those employees may have…

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Court Rulings on Franchise Issues

There were a couple of cases decided recently that we thought would be worth bringing to your attention. The first involved a question of choice of law and forum selection that originated in Ohio and transferred to the Arizona federal court. In its decision, the Arizona court invalidated a choice of law and venue provision…

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