NJ Wage Increases

With its minimum wage now tied to inflation, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced the minimum wage in January 2019 will increase to $8.85 per hour. The minimum wage hike, put in place by New Jersey voters in a 2014 referendum, brought the wage up to the current $8.60 and then tied it to inflation…

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Minimum Wage Moving Elsewhere

New Jersey is one example, but the ongoing drumbeat to continually hike the minimum wage at state and local levels continues. The city council in St. Paul Minnesota released an initial draft of a $15/hr minimum wage ordinance they plan to consider before year-end. The proposal mandates that large businesses with 100 workers or more…

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Refunding Right to Work

The legal arm of the National Right to Work Committee (NRWC) filed a couple of class action lawsuits in Ohio earlier this week. One of the cases seeks refunds of “fair share fees” taken by local affiliates of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Union (AFSCME), while the other seeks to strike…

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Welcome to the Hotel California!

Somehow it seems appropriate that rock band The Eagles released that hit song in 1976, early in the first administration of California Governor Jerry Brown (1975 – 1983). Well, it must be déjà vu all over again as the same Governor Brown signed a couple of different bills recently that can significantly impact small businesses…

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Coffee Cancer Case Percolating Again

For the past couple of months, the hope existed that litigation pending in a Los Angeles Superior Court would ultimately be dismissed after the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) recommended coffee retailers be exempted from California Proposition 65 requirements to include a cancer warning on coffee. Public comments included an endorsement of…

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Pennsylvania IRRC Concerned over Overtime Threshold

Back in the summer months, the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) released proposed revisions to the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act overtime exemptions (currently set at $250 per week or $13,000 per year). The proposal recommended increasing the state overtime exemption threshold in each of the next three years with the first increase in…

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New York City Adds Third Gender

This week, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed legislation into law adding a third gender to birth certificates for individuals born in the Big Apple. The bill, as passed by the City Council last month, allows individuals to change the M or F gender designation on their New York City birth certificate to…

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Stopping More Soda Taxes

Out in the “other Washington” (that would be the state), voters in November will be asked to prohibit local communities from imposing additional taxes on groceries including soda or other sugary beverages. If passed, Initiative 1634 would not affect Seattle’s tax on soda, syrups and sugary beverages of 1.75 cents per ounce, but it will…

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Illinois Requires Paid Breaks for Nursing Mothers

Just a month ago, Illinois expanded the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act to require employers to provide paid breaks for nursing mothers to express breast milk. The law now provides that a nursing mother who needs to express milk for her nursing infant child is entitled to a paid break “each time the employee…

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The A’s Have It

Media outlets have been all over the announcement this week by Amazon that the company will raise the current $11/hour minimum wage for its lowest employees across the United States to $15 an hour beginning November 1 of this year. Voters in Arkansas will likely be asked next month to consider increasing the current state…

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