Gender Identity, East and West

New laws relating how an individual self-identifies from a gender perspective are now in place and worth noting on both the west and east coasts.  In California, under a new law signed two weeks ago by California Governor Jerry Brown, businesses that have single-user bathrooms must make those facilities gender-neutral.  Those “single-user facilities” are defined…

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Independent Joe #39 Sept/Oct

Tucked into the Connecticut woods, Foxwoods is the largest resort casino in the country. In short, there really is something for everyone. “The great thing about coming to Foxwoods is that you can bring your family and extend your stay,” says Guido Petrosinelli, a longtime franchisee from Rhode Island, and a member of the 2105…

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Breaking into the Bay Area

Progressive, friendly and laid back are some of the ways people describe the “San Francisco attitude.” But, laid back is not how the Bay Area has greeted the return of Dunkin’ Donuts after a 16 year absence. At one time, Dunkin’ Donuts had 15 stores scattered across California, but closed them all by 2000. The…

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Seattle Adopts Secured Scheduling

Apparently hell-bent to put small businesses out of business, the Seattle City Council, with the encouragement of Mayor Ed Murray, unanimously adopted a secured scheduling ordinance earlier this week that will become effective on July 1, 2017.  The ordinance requires that workers get a minimum two-week advance notice of their work schedules and further provides…

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Restaurants Drop Surcharge

Last week, we advised you of a class action lawsuit pending in California where a number of restaurants had implemented a 3% surcharge to cover increased cost associated with Obamacare.  This week, we note a story in Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN) where West Coast based Restaurants Unlimited has eliminated a 2 month old surcharge they…

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Appeals Court Allows LA Hotel Worker Minimum to Stand

A three judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has allowed a lower court ruling to stand, rejecting a challenge brought against the Los Angeles Fair Wage Ordinance.  The 2014 fair-wage law required hotels with more than 150 hotel rooms to pay their workers a minimum of $15.37 per hour and was challenged…

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Court Clears Suit vs. Restaurants’ ACA Surcharge

There was more bad news regarding the ACA this week out of California as a Los Angeles court allowed a price-fixing case to proceed against a number of restaurants.  The businesses decided back in 2014 to impose a 3% surcharge on meal prices to cover their increased costs under ObamaCare.  Last September, a class action…

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Seattle Unveils Secured Scheduling Details

It isn’t law yet, but it is getting closer.  Two Seattle City Councilors along with the Mayor’s Office early this week presented the painful details of the so-called “secured scheduling ordinance” they are pushing.  If passed into law, the proposal will require that employers give workers 14 days advance notice of their work schedule and…

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Colorado Rocky Mountain High

The late John Denver only sang of a metaphorical “Rocky Mountain High” – post-legalized recreational marijuana, it seems far more tangible today! A ballot initiative in Boulder Colorado that would impose a tax of $.02 per ounce on sugary drinks sold within the city is being challenged by residents.  The city council approved placing the…

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Lawsuits vs ACA Mandate Growing

Two new lawsuits were filed this week by insurance companies over a specific provision of the Obamacare health insurance mandate.  The targeted provision, known as the “risk adjustment program”, requires health insurers whose members are healthier (and therefore less expensive to insure), to pay monies to their competitors whose members are not as healthy and…

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