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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Florida Styrofoam Ban Goes to Court

The Florida Retail Federation this week brought a lawsuit against the City of Coral Gables challenging enforcement of its Styrofoam ban.  The local law authorized fines starting at $50 and increasing to $500 for a third violation within one year and $1,000 for subsequent violations.  Businesses were given until next month to phase out Styrofoam…

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A Commitment to Family Spawns a Second Career for Florida Franchisee

Alex Fernandez thought he had retired. After almost 30 years with AIG, the international insurance and financial services firm, Fernandez was ready to try a life of golf and relaxation. Then a family crisis intervened and Fernandez found himself back in the world of work, in a different country and a different business entirely. And…

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Other Minimum Wage Issues

Elsewhere, we note that minimum wage in Minnesota will increase effective August 1 for both small and larger employers.  Minnesota provides for two different minimums based on the size of the employer business.  Large employers (at least $500,000 gross annual revenues) will be required to pay $9.50 per hour beginning next month, while small employers…

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Now, They’re Banning Franchises?

“Can they even do that?”, was the first thought that popped to mind a few weeks ago when I read this story in the Florida Business Observer.  It seems that the city of Holmes Beach, Florida, off the west coast of the Sunshine State near Bradenton, has done just that!  Last month, the city commission…

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Court Enjoins “Persuader Rule”

In a major defeat for the Department of Labor (DOL) and its organized labor allies, a U.S. District Court in Texas has issued a nationwide injunction on the DOL’s so-called “persuader rule”.  The injunction prevents DOL from implementing any and all aspects of the rule pending a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for…

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Oklahoma Latest to Pass Joint-employer Clarification

There are now 9 individual states that have enacted legislation declaring that franchisors are not to be considered “joint-employers”.  Oklahoma became the latest to join that group when Governor Mary Fallin signed SB. 1496 on May 24.  The Oklahoma law essentially provides blanket protection that states franchisors “shall not be considered the employer of a…

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Tennessee Dumps Income Tax

It may be a few more years before it comes to fruition, but the Volunteer State finalized plans to eliminate its state income tax when Governor Bill Haslam signed the bill into law earlier this week.  The legislation (SB 0047), passed in the waning days of its 2016 session, provides that the income tax rate…

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Feds Weigh in on North Carolina LGBT Controversy

North Carolina seems to be finding more and more hostility from all corners since it passed the controversial “bathroom bill”, more formally known as the Public Facilities Privacy and Security Act (HB-2).  We talked about the bill when it was signed by Governor Pat McCrory back on March 23, because it included a state pre-emption…

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Miami Beach Set to Challenge Florida Preemption

Absent the fanfare we find in the North Carolina debate, the city of Miami Beach is setting itself up to challenge a local minimum wage preemption effective in Florida for the past three years.  Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine is pushing the City Commission to adopt his proposal to increase the local minimum to $13.31…

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