Tennessee Gives Employers Safe Harbor

The state of Tennessee has expanded its Healthy Workplace Act to allow private employers to shield themselves allegations of workplace bullying. Public employers have enjoyed immunity since 2014, but now with the Governor signing the expansion April 23 to be effective immediately, private employers can receive legal immunity as well. All the employer needs to…

Read More »

Fair Franchising Moving Again in Alabama

The Protect Alabama Small Business Act (H134) was approved earlier this week by the House Committee on Commerce and Small Business and will likely be brought to the floor as early as next week. The committee sent the bill, which provides added security for franchisees to reinvest and grow their business, to the floor by…

Read More »

Maine Becomes 1st State to Ban Polysterene Foam

The state of Maine became the first state in the nation to ban the use of polysterene foam food and drink containers when Governor Janet Mills signed the restriction into law this week. LD 289, sponsored by Representative Stanley Zeigler, prohibits restaurants and other “covered establishments” from providing food or beverages in Styrofoam containers effective…

Read More »

Battle of the Bans

As some cities and towns around the country adopt more restrictions on business – banning plastic this or Styrofoam that, some states (Maine notwithstanding) look to put a stop to the growing patchwork of laws within their borders by preempting local regulations. A couple of recent cases in point – a week or so ago,…

Read More »

Soda Taxes in Play in Massachusetts

A number of cities across the country have adopted some form of soda tax over the past few years, but no such surcharges have been imposed at the state level since 1992. Arkansas, Tennessee, Virginia & West Virginia all have soda taxes, while they are preempted by Arizona, California and Michigan. But the dearth of…

Read More »

Kentucky Requires Lawyers in Unemployment Hearings

In what could undoubtedly be an expensive ruling for Kentucky businesses, the Kentucky Court of Appeals has tossed out a longstanding law allowing a non-lawyer to represent an employer at administrative unemployment hearings.  In its April 26 decision, the court found the law an unconstitutional encroachment on the state judicial branch’s executive authority to regulate…

Read More »

Between a Rock and a Hard Place!

Massachusetts has relieved a little bit of the pressure on businesses relative to applying for an exemption under the state’s new paid family and medical leave mandate. The original legislation (aka, the “Grand Bargain”) allowed businesses to offer employees a more generous private alternative if they so choose and then apply for an exemption from…

Read More »

NE Regional Meeting: Local TV Host Chronicles the Importance of Information

Dunkin’ franchisees from across New England gathered in late April for the annual NE regional meeting. DDIFO invited new business members to join the event at the Sheraton Needham Hotel. Labor attorney Dan Field, a former Chief of the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division, was a featured speaker and touched on critical issues like…

Read More »

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,”…

Read More »

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…

Read More »