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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Minimum Wage Watch

The seemingly endless increases in minimum wages continued over the past few weeks with the Wage and Hour Division of the US Department of Labor announcing the federal contractor minimum will increase to $10.35 per hour beginning on January 1, 2018. In addition, the minimum for tipped employees will increase to $7.25 an hour, also…

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Mass AG Clears 21 Ballot Questions

Another minimum wage hike is only one of the 21 ballot initiatives covering 18 different topics that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey advanced this past week toward the November ballot. At this point, the AG only certifies that the questions do not violate the state constitution, clearing the way for the proponents to go to…

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Employment Law Traps Abound

Whether the NLRB remains in business or not, the plethora of traps that unwitting small businessmen and women can find themselves caught in shows no signs of shrinking. Here are a couple of issues to ponder. Under recent court rulings in both Connecticut and Massachusetts, employers may be sued for not making a reasonable accommodation…

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A Ballot Trifecta

SEIU-backed Raise Up Massachusetts is looking to score on a trifecta of issues on the coming November ballot as the group filed two petitions with the Attorney General by Wednesday’s initial deadline.  The two petitions include increasing the Massachusetts minimum wage to $15 per hour, and mandating up to 26 weeks of paid sick leave.…

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Pregnancy Protections

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker yesterday signed the Pregnant Workers Protection Act (H3680) into law requiring employers in the Commonwealth to make reasonable workplace accommodations for pregnant workers. Under the new law, which hadn’t been able to gain much traction in several past sessions, it is illegal for employers in the state to choose not hire…

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