Massachusetts Sends Pay Equity to Governor

The Massachusetts Legislature unanimously approved a pay equity bill at a rare Saturday session last week and sent it to Governor Charlie Baker for his approval.  If approved by the Governor – a sure bet, given the unanimous legislative vote in both branches, it will become the first pay equity law in the nation that…

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GMO Labeling Passes Congress

It has languished for quite some time since the state of Vermont passed what was effectively the first mandatory GMO labeling law in the country back in 2014, but a federal voluntary version has finally been approved by Congress.  The Senate passed the bipartisan Roberts-Stabenow bill on a 63-30 vote last week and sent the…

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Massachusetts Sick Leave Law

We would remind all of our members with franchises in Massachusetts that the Commonwealth implemented a new earned sick leave law which took effect one year ago, in July, 2015.  The Attorney General’s office has developed a very informative and easy-to-navigate web site to provide detailed guidance on what the law requires of employers.  The…

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Vermont GMO Labeling Law Effective Today

The Vermont law mandating the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) becomes effective today.  The law, which originally passed back in 2014 and has since survived a number of legal and political challenges, requires that any food product that contains at least 75% bioengineered content have a label specifying that the product is…

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Maine Finalizes Minimum Wage Ballot Language

Last week, we told you that there was strong business community opposition to the wording of a ballot question in Maine relating raising the minimum wage.  In response, Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap revisited the question and has now issued the final wording for the question as it will appear on the November ballot. …

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July 1 Brings New Laws

There are two dates every year when we have to be especially conscious of changes in government laws and/or regulations – one is January 1 and the other is today, July 1, the start of many government fiscal years.  With so much new regulation being piled on to the business community, we thought it might…

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Wordsmithing Maine Minimum Wage

Business groups are pushing to have a ballot question heading before voters in Maine this November re-worded to more accurately summarize the impact of the proposal. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap released proposed language this past week but his draft has no mention of any the increase being indexed to inflation after the initial phase-in…

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Connecticut “Bans the Box”

They haven’t focused on sugary drinks yet, but Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signed ban the box legislation into law at the beginning of this month.  Signing HB5237 into law makes the Nutmeg State the 19th state to restrict employers’ inquiries into an employment applicant’s criminal history and the 2nd to do so this year (Vermont…

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Mandatory GMO Labeling One Month Away

In a little over one month, Vermont will become the first state in the nation actually requiring the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMO).  The Vermont mandate was signed into law just over 2 years ago and immediately challenged by the Grocery Manufacturers Association along with the Snack Food Association, International Dairy Foods…

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