Maine Court Blesses Hazard Pay

The Supreme Judicial Court in the state of Maine has unanimously approved a voter-initiated law that requires employers in Portland, the state’s largest city, to pay employees hazard wages equal to time and a half for any work performed during a declared state of emergency within the city. Disputes arose immediately after 62% of Portland…

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Court Enjoins ARPA Tax Cut Prohibition

A federal district court in Ohio has issued a permanent injunction against a provision in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) prohibiting states from using ARPA funds to offset state tax cuts. The provision provided that no states, territories or local communities that accepted funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (approximately $350 billion total…

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SCOTUS Limits Union Access

Speaking of important court decisions, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) rendered one a few weeks ago that can have major repercussions on unionizing efforts moving forward. The case stems from a 1975 state regulation implemented in California that allowed union organizers to enter an agricultural employer’s private property for the purpose of…

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Fighting Over Unemployment Premium

As the labor shortage continues to wreak havoc with small businesses across the country, the issue is being fought out in a host of different venues. First off, there are the many states that have announced (or already) that they are suspending or ceasing the extra bonus payments as we’ve reported in prior issues. That…

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SBA Closes RRF

Rife with problems from the get-go, the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) was closed to new applications yesterday by the US Small Business Administration (SBA), but the application portal will remain open for another two weeks to allow applicants to check their status. With its creation as an integral part of the American Rescue Plan –…

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SBA Cancels More RRF Funding

On Wednesday of this week, the Small Business Administration (SBA) cancelled another round of Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) payments that had already been approved during the Congressionally-mandated ‘exclusivity window’. This marks the second week in a row when previously approved assistance payments were halted by the agency. The difficulties stem from the fact that Congress…

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Vacation Pay Protected

The Colorado Supreme Court a week ago placed an employee’s earned vacation time beyond the reach of the employer in the event that the employee is terminated. In the case of Nieto v. Clark’s Market, the state’s highest court overturned a lower court decision from 2019 and ruled that earned vacation time cannot be forfeited…

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SBA Halts RRF Payments

In the wake of a federal court ruling that found the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) priorities (women, veterans and economically/socially disadvantaged individuals) unconstitutional, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has withheld almost 3,000 additional RRF approved payments to priority recipients. The SBA essentially revoked the priority approvals already given and halted consideration of other priority applications…

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Court Rejects RRF Priorities

A panel of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the 21-day exclusive priority for businesses owned by a “woman, veteran and/or socially or economically disadvantaged individual” to apply for and access funds from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) is unconstitutional. The Small Business Administration (SBA) officially opened the $29 billion RRF…

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Virginia Overtime Change

Virginia employers have more negative hits on their horizon. The minimum wage, which jumped $2.25 per hour to $9.50 on May 1, 2021, is slated to rise by another $1.50 to $11/hour on January 1, 2022; and then another $1 in 2023 to $12/hour. However, if the General Assembly chooses to reenact these rate increases…

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