Competitor News

Starbucks had a very difficult reception on Wall Street to its sales and earnings narrative released yesterday. Q1 US same store sales was plus 2, all average ticket, and zero traffic gains from last year. They repeated a now familiar story of weak afternoon and evening business, and declining foot traffic of units inside some…

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What’s Brewing: NLRB, H-2B summer visas, Soda tax, Wages headed up, Sick leave

Good old 2017 ended with a bang, with the Trump Administration making good on its promises to axe a controversial ruling that Dunkin’ and other franchise owners have argued undermines the very foundations of franchising. The National Labor Relations Board has dumped the Obama-era joint-employer rule, which had sowed confusion and stirred fears of unionization…

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Forecasting 2018

As I sit here, just a few days before Christmas, I am watching the weather change outside my office window from relatively warm (for Minnesota), to downright cold. And like the weather, the one thing that we can always count on as the seasons change, is change in the political and legal landscape affecting business…

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Independent Joe #47 December 2017/January 2018

There is always a certain amount of fear and trepidation about the unknown. Think back to 1999 as we approached the turn of the millennium and the catastrophes that were forecast to accompany Y2K, as it was then known. To hear some tell it back then, computers were going to think the year was 1900,…

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Trump Fills NLRB Vacancy –

President Trump has nominated attorney John Ring, a partner in the global law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Brockius, to fill the final vacant slot on the National Labor Relations Board. The opening was created by the expiration of Philip Miscimarra’s term in December and his decision not to seek reappointment. Ring, co-chairman of the…

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Individual Mandate Gone, Employer Mandate Next?

When the Tax Cut and Jobs Act was signed into law by the President just before Christmas last month, the law eliminated the individual mandate created by the Affordable Care Act. With that done, it would appear that Republicans in Congress now want to repeal the other side of the two-headed mandate monster, the employer…

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Maryland Overrides & Adopts Paid Leave

We advised as recently as last week that Maryland could be next up in mandating paid sick leave for private employees and that caution became reality last week. The Maryland state senate followed the lead of the House of Delegates and overrode the veto of Governor Larry Hogan on legislation mandating paid sick leave for…

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Over, But Not Gone

As we advised a few weeks ago, the NLRB reversed its egregious decision in Browning-Ferris and the definition of a joint-employer has reverted to the long accepted version of “direct and immediate control” over employees rather than the Obama-era “indirect and unexercised” control standard. Notwithstanding, proponents of retaining the 2015 definition continue to pursue avenues…

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More Minimum Wage

Now that we’ve turned the calendar and 2018 is officially here, we want to remind you once again that as of this past Monday (January 1, 2018), the minimum wage in 18 different states was increased. We advise and caution all to ensure that you are in compliance with the state minimum wage , whether…

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Minimum Wage vs. Jobs

It has long been debated what impact minimum wage increases actually have on job prospects for those same low income individuals the minimum wage is designed to help. A study released a few weeks ago by the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) says that California raising the minimum wage as it has could cost the state…

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