Portland & Augusta Both Looking At Paid Leave

One question might be where will it be enacted first, as the Portland City Council and the Maine state legislature are both considering adoption of paid sick leave mandates for private businesses.  The statewide legislation, LD369 filed by Senator Rebecca Millett, is similar to legislation she has filed in the past. It would apply to…

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Shunning Single Use

As we all know, many states and locales focused legislative efforts on banning plastic bags, straws and single-use bags in 2018. In that vein, we found an interesting article earlier this week on QSRWeb entitled ‘Single-use’ – QSRs ‘dirty word’ for 2019 and it may be more prescient than originally thought, speaking to an environmental…

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Paid Family Leave at the Forefront

New York’s Junior US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was the latest to throw her hat in the 2020 presidential test pool this week with her announcement that she had formed a presidential exploratory committee. More importantly to small business interests, in her late night TV show announcement, she highlighted paid family leave among a host of…

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Idle Hands Are The Devil’s Workshop

Advocates in the state of Maine are proving that ol’ adage now that Question 1 has been rejected by the voters. Just days after the initiative to add a 3.8% surcharge to incomes over the Social Security limit ($128,400/year) was rejected by voters in the election last week, the Maine People’s Alliance shifted their focus…

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Summer Season Help Wanted

These are the vacation spots that symbolize an idyllic summer: Cape Cod to Mackinac Island; Ogunquit, Maine to Hilton Head. They’re as American as apple pie. But increasingly, these hot spots have relied on foreign workers to do jobs that would otherwise go unfilled. With an unemployment rate hovering around 4 percent and a scarce…

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July 1 Trigger Date

Each year as July rolls around, and with it the start of state and municipal fiscal years, we also see many minimum wage hikes taking effect. In the interest of keeping our readers informed of these changes, we believe that the following minimum wages increases take effect Sunday: Washington DC from $12.50 to $13.25; Chicago…

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Minimum Wage Roller Coaster

An increase in the Louisiana minimum wage suffered the same fate as pay equity legislation when the senate voted down a bill that would have increased the state minimum wage to $8 in 2019 and $8.50 in 2020. Louisiana is one of only 5 states that do not have a state minimum and hence, defer…

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Man Bites Dog!

Not really, but I didn’t want this item lost in the above paragraph! Maine, which raised the state minimum wage this month to $10/hour on its way to $12 by 2020, is now considering legislation, LD1757, that would drop the 2018 wage to $9.50/hour in July. The increase was mandated after a voter initiative was…

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Ed Wolak’s Successful 5-Decade Journey

Ed Wolak was a teen when his mom applied for a job at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Manchester, New Hampshire. “It was a new business to us. No one knew it was a chain,” says Wolak. His mom worked part-time at the location for a few years, and encouraged her daughter to apply. “My sister…

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Maine Unions Accept Right To Work

Members of two of Maine’s larger public employee unions have voted to ratify contracts effectively implementing right to work provisions in the state for the first time. The Maine State Employees Association (MSEA) and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSME) accepted two year contracts that specifically eliminates the current requirement that…

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