Independent Joe #55 April/May 2019

This year on April 20, national food brands stepped up their cutesy cannabis promotions—to tie in with what has become an annual pot-lover’s holiday. The numerical designation 420 is slang for the consumption of cannabis. So on the 20th day of the 4th month, brands like Pizza Hut said “It’s high time for a brownie,”…

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Franchisee Feedback Driving Next Gen Development

Ari Souliotis bought his first two Dunkin’ restaurants in Vermont during the worst economic downturn in decades. With the Great Recession in full swing and coffee prices skyrocketing, it was tough going. But Souliotis, who had previously launched and built the successful Pizza Chef network in Vermont and New Hampshire, never considered throwing in the…

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Colorado Senate Kills Paid Family Leave Bill

Senators in Colorado succeeded in blocking adoption of a paid leave mandate in the Rocky Mountain state earlier this month as the Senate Finance Committee killed the Paid Family Leave Act for the year. Initially, the committee just tabled the measure to give sponsors enough time to draft amendments to make the proposal more palatable…

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Fair Franchising Moves in Alabama

Good news for franchising came out of the deep south earlier this week when the Alabama Committee on Government Affairs endorsed the Protect Alabama Small Businesses Act by a vote of 9 – 1 with 1 abstention. The bill, which addresses a number of abuses to which franchise owners are currently subjected, will next be…

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Maine Paid Leave Shifting

A compromise seems to have been brokered by Governor Janet Mills in the state of Maine over mandating paid leave benefits for private employees. The legislature’s Labor Committee this week approved compromise legislation that would apply to businesses with more than 10 employees who work for a business more than three months in a year.…

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Massachusetts Releases Family and Medical Leave Regulation

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development released a model of the notice that employers will be required to provide to their existing employees by May 31, 2019.  The Paid Family and Medical Leave benefit was created by the poorly-named Grand Bargain that Governor Charlie Baker signed into law last June. Although employers…

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Idaho Minimum Wage Question Ok’d for Ballot

The Idaho Secretary of State has given his approval to an initiative amending the current state minimum wage law and establishing a four-year formula to increase the wage and subsequently tie it to the federal consumer price index (CPI) for specific items. Under the proposal, the current minimum wage of $7.25 would be increased annually…

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The Minimum Wage Impact

We talk quite a bit about the minimum wage and what the impact is of mandating regular increases to the minimum. Well, a study that Harri, the workplace management software company that works closely with restaurants, released a week or so ago underscores the direct impact. Of the 173 restaurants surveyed, 71 percent planned to…

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State Minimum Wage Maneuvers

Speaking of minimum wages, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody has asked the Florida Supreme Court to review a proposed Constitutional Amendment that would mandate a $15 minimum. The proposed amendment calls for the $8.46 minimum wage to rise to $10 on September 30, 2021 and increase $1 each year thereafter until reaching $15 per hour…

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Overtime Minimums Higher Than DOL’s

We thought it might be a good time to reiterate that the proposed Department of Labor overtime exemption threshold, which was increased to $35,308 just over one month ago, is not the operable threshold in New York – and some other states (California in particular) as well. Employers in New York are subject to the…

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