Independent Joe #59 December 2019/January 2020

Each year at the turn of the calendar, we see an abundance of stories recapping the year that was. The Year in Review gives us a chance to review what has happened, what we’ve accomplished and where we’ve failed to reach our objectives over the past 12 months. Though generally vanilla and predictable, the Year…

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US 3rd Circuit Rules Franchisees are Employees!

In a deeply divided 2-1 decision, the US 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting in Philadelphia, has ruled to certify a class action lawsuit against franchisor Jani-King of Philadelphia wherein the plaintiff franchisees contend they were wrongfully categorized as independent contractors  The plaintiffs argue that the control that the franchisor exercised over their day-to-day tasks…

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Employers Must Accommodate Transgender Employees

Right alongside EEOC, we have the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).  Ostensibly charged with ensuring the safety of the nation’s workforce, OSHA responded to a request by the National Center for Transgender Equality by issuing a guidance advising employers that they must accommodate employees based on the gender with which the employee identifies.  Incredibly,…

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NLRB Authorizes Email Organizing

It was designed as a neutral agency that would ensure fair application of the nation’s labor laws, but the new focus of the National Labor Relations Board seems to be anything but.  Last week, in the first of a couple of egregious rulings, the agency decided by a 3 – 2 vote in a case…

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Fast Food Worker Strike

We’ve looked high and low for reports on the national food workers strike planned for yesterday, but we haven’t found much by way of reports on its success/failure.  We’ll keep looking, but in the meantime, QSR posted an interesting piece on what to expect from the strike activities. Read it here.

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My Perspective: The Workforce

With summer fading, you can feel everyone’s focus turn to fall. The change in season brings about a change in schedules and, if you’re business is like ours, it also changes how you think about staffing. In past years, it seemed, we could predict the day when the summer sales dip would occur. That helped…

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The 40 Hour Work Week

Wouldn’t have thought the notion of a 40-hour work week would be particularly newsworthy, but this past week, the issue was front and center in the weekly Republican Radio Address as US Senator Susan Collins (R – Maine) said that because of Obamacare and the implications of the 30-hour work week threshold, many workers would…

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Coffee Servers Should Be Eligible to Receive Tips

In Massachusetts, one regulation is not only harming small businesses, it’s also taking money out of the pockets of employees in virtually every city and town. Massachusetts’ tip-pooling law is preventing people who work behind the counter at Dunkin’ Donuts and other quick service restaurants from receiving tips. Leaving extra change—or an occasional dollar bill—in a tip cup is a time-honored tradition for Bay State coffee drinkers.

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ICE Expands Chipotle Hiring Practices Probe

Nation’s Restaurant News reports that Federal investigators visited as many as 30 Chipotle locations across the country this week in an ongoing criminal investigation into the fast-casual chain’s hiring practices.

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