New DOL Overtime Rules Released

The long-awaited final Overtime Rule, defining overtime exemption requirements for the so-called “White Collar Exemption”, was finally released this week by the Department of Labor.  The new rule will formally take effect on December 1 of this year, when the minimum salary exempting workers from overtime pay more than doubles to $913/week, an annualized figure…

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House Files Impeachment Resolution

Paying the taxman is one thing, but now the taxman may have to “pay the fiddler” as House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz has filed a resolution to censure IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.  The censure is largely considered an initial step toward an impeachment procedure.  Over the past months, calls for Koskinen to…

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EEOC Rules on Wellness Programs

This was apparently a good week for issuance of final new regulatory rules from the federal government.  Aside from the DOL overtime rule (above), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also rendered its final rule this week specifying the extent to which employer-sponsored wellness plans can comply with the American with Disabilities Act and the Genetic…

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New York City Expands Pregnancy Accommodations

Speaking of ADA and accommodations necessary to avoid discrimination, the law may have passed three years ago, but the New York City Human Rights Commission just recently issued an enforcement guidance on the New York City Pregnancy Workplace Fairness Act that provides the criteria to be considered in the context of trying to make a…

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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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Cuomo Wants Unionized Farm Workers

Having already “fixed” the fast food industry by jamming a one-size-fits-all elevated $15/hour minimum wage down the throats of QSRs and the broader restaurant industry, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is apparently looking to do the same for the local farming industry in the Empire State.  Cuomo recently announced that his administration would not defend…

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Mass Millionaire’s Tax Clears Hurdle

Seems the ‘Punish the Prosperous Parade’ continues unabated with approval of a proposal at the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention this week to assess an additional 4 percent tax on incomes over $1 million.  Under the state constitution, which currently prohibits a graduated income tax, any proposed amendment to the constitution must be approved by two consecutive…

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Dunkin’ Doings

And big doings they were over the past couple of weeks when the annual DDIFO review of the Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise Agreement revealed significant changes to the all-important document.  After the issues were raised and band-aid fixes deemed insufficient to resolve the many problems created by the unilateral changes, the company agreed to rescind the…

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Competitor News

Cutting new ground, Starbucks issued the first ever US Corporate Sustainability Bond earlier this week.  The $500 million bond offering, issued via 10-year 2.45 percent senior notes, is being used to ensure that the company’s coffee purchases are grown in an environmentally and socially sustainable way. Speaking of environmental issues, Tim Hortons announced that it…

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Unintended Consequences

Arguably, one of the greatest works in English literature is The Canterbury Tales. This collection of 24 individual stories is presented as a story-telling contest by pilgrims traveling to visit a shrine at Canterbury Cathedral back in the 14th century. In this iconic work, author Geoffrey Chaucer is credited with giving birth to the first…

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