‘Captive Audience’ Ban

Organized labor appears close to celebrating a big win in Connecticut as the House of Representatives last week passed legislation that will prohibit employers from holding mandatory meetings on unionization and other sensitive subjects. Senate bill 163, which passed the state Senate a few weeks ago, was approved by the House on a vote of…

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Dunkin’ Doings

New Boston Mayor Michelle Wu may or may not run on Dunkin’, but her constituent meetings certainly do! The Mayor’s Office has announced a series of constituent meetings the Mayor Wu will host featuring Dunkin’ coffee and snacks to be held in neighborhoods around the city over the course of the next two months. Billed…

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Court Rules Franchisees May Be Employees

Last week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the independent contractor statute also applies to the franchisor-franchisee relationship and does not conflict with the FTC Franchise Rule 7-Eleven franchisees may in fact qualify as employees under the state ABC test. With its decision in Patel v 7-Eleven, Inc. the court in some ways “threaded…

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States Targeting Tip Credit Rules

Potentially significant changes are on tap for the tip credit rules in a number of jurisdictions around the country. Pennsylvania has already adopted a significant change that will quadruple the tip income requirement necessary for an employer to use the tip credit. Currently, the Pennsylvania minimum wage law requires employers paying the tipped minimum ($2.83…

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Independent Joe #72 February/March 2022

 Since the coronavirus pandemic was first declared an emergency here in the United States, we’ve been making slow, but steady progress and we’re now starting to see the fruits of those efforts. Oh, not with regard to COVID.  I’m talking about the FTC Franchise Rule and government efforts to clamp down on abusive franchisors,…

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Drop Mask Mandates, Extend HERO Act

As we advised you last week, the state of New York is just one of several state and local governments that have recently dropped masking mandates as COVID infections from the omicron variant decline across the country. At the same time however, New York has extended the application of the so-called HEROES Act for another…

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ACA Reporting Deadlines

Considering how the Trump administration, the then-republican controlled Congress and the courts pecked away at mandates of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (a.k.a. ObamaCare), it’s easy to forget that there are still obligations under the ACA with which employers must comply. In that vein, ACA reporting deadlines under the federal law for Applicable Large Employers…

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Happiness Fuels Growth for Husband and Wife Franchisees

“Happy customers and happy employees. If you have those two things, you can do anything,” says Mark Pesce. With a business degree and 30 years of experience under his belt, the Massachusetts franchisee is no stranger to budgets and balance sheets. But if he had to sum up his business plan in one sentence, that…

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Independent Joe #71 December 2021/January 2022

 It’s been a long journey since the coronavirus pandemic reached our shores back in early 2020. Over the course of those first few months, governments ordered non-essential businesses shut, indoor dining was banned and people who left their homes were told to wear masks (even for a solitary jog). Houses of worship were ordered…

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MA Paid Family Medical Leave Rates

The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) announced back in October that updates to contribution rates and weekly benefit amounts under the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) would take effect on January 1, 2022. DDIFO employment counsel, Morgan Brown & Joy, advises that effective at the New Year, the maximum weekly…

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