Massachusetts Pregnancy Protections

Effective Sunday, April 1, a new law in Massachusetts expressly prohibits discrimination against employees who are pregnant or experiencing pre- and/or post-birth pregnancy related medical needs. Known as the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, the law immediately requires employers to provide their employees with notice of the act in writing by April 1, 2018 – a…

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Pay Equity Laws

On Monday of this week, the New Jersey Legislature gave overwhelming final approval to a gender pay equity bill that will be one of the strongest in the nation. Governor Phil Murphy (D) is expected to sign the measure, NJ A1/S104. The act will prohibit unequal pay for ‘substantially similar work’ and provides that employees…

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Butter/Margarine Class Action Suits

We are aware that numerous Massachusetts Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees have had filed against them civil class action lawsuits involving the alleged use of margarine or other butter substitutes.  We further understand that the lawsuits allege Massachusetts franchisees placed margarine or another butter substitute on customers’ baked products when the customer specifically asked for “butter”. We…

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Dunkin’s Brew-haha

Senior executives at Dunkin’ Brands have, for the past several years, successfully brought new products to the market, with the hope of developing brand loyalty among younger consumers. The Dunkin’ mobile app has made the process of ordering a beverage and snack with a smartphone simple and reliable. Dunkin’s cold brew exposed customers to a…

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Community Corner: A Family Affair

For Mitzi Lawlor, community involvement is more than a commitment: it’s a family tradition. Her parents, Helen and Ralph D’Alelio, bought their first Dunkin’ Donuts store in Massachusetts in 1977. For the next 30 years they used their business to improve the lives of those living in the area, particularly children. “My mother always gave…

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Massachusetts Court Questions Millionaire Tax

In oral arguments before the state Supreme Court this week, a number of the justices raised some pointed questions about the constitutionality of the ballot proposal. As approved for the 2018 ballot, the Massachusetts “millionaire tax” would add a 4 percent tax on earnings over $1 million and incorporate that ‘surcharge’ into the state constitution.…

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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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MA Retailers Push Tax Cut

In Massachusetts, one of the blue-est of blue states, it may be the ultimate longshot, but the Retailers Association of Massachusetts (RAM) is undeterred and moving forward with a ballot initiative to lower the state sales tax. Currently pegged at 6.25 percent, the state sales tax would drop to 5% effective January 2018 if the…

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Steve Catalano: Stepping Up

Steve Catalano knows firsthand that one person can make a difference. Catalano has raised more than $180,000 for Lyme disease research since 2015, after his daughter contracted it. That’s a hefty sum in such a short time. But he started giving back long before it became personal. A Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owner for 27 years, he…

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