Fair Workweek Laws Are New Priority

From those who gave us the $15 minimum wage and dramatic expansion of paid sick leave and other employee benefit mandates across much of the country, they’re establishing a new priority moving forward – Fair Workweek laws. The Fight for $15 and its associated labor groups have seemingly shifted gears and are now organizing in…

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MA Paid Family & Medical Leave effective October 1

Delayed from earlier in the summer, employer obligations under the new Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law (PFML) will begin in a few weeks on October 1, 2019, when covered employers are required to begin contributions to fund the program. The PFML provides temporary income replacement to eligible workers who welcome a new child…

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Government That Governs Least – Not!

In the catalogue of government overreach, or nanny-state actions of late, we’d hasten to submit Oregon at the state level and old favorite San Francisco in the local community category. Just a few weeks ago, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law Senate bill 1019, which provides that beginning in the year 2024, all eggs…

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California Codifying “ABC Test”?

The California state senate is closing in on final consideration of AB-5, which will codify the Dynamex decision of the California Supreme Court. That decision, rendered in early 2018, established the “ABC Test” for determining whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor as opposed to the historically-accepted Economic Realities Test. Whereas the…

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Massachusetts Grants 3 Month Reprieve on Paid Leave Funding

Earlier this week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and state legislators agreed to delay the implementation of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Program until October 1, 2019. The program, which was an integral part of the so-called Grand Bargain – a misnomer if ever there was one, was to be funded with a 0.63% payroll…

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Millionaire Tax Clears First Hurdle in Massachusetts

The Massachusetts state legislature, not a group that is shy about new taxes and meeting in Constitutional Convention on Wednesday, gave initial approval to a proposed constitutional amendment that would impose an additional 4% tax surcharge on all Massachusetts residents with annual income in excess of $1 million. The 147-48 vote advances the question to…

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Approaching Deadlines: An Eye on the Calendar

Often throughout the year, we advise our subscribers of different laws or regulations that will be taking effect at a future date, either near term of a few months later. We’re going to add “Approaching Deadlines: An Eye on the Calendar” to SRNS periodically to ensure that you are aware of those changes that will…

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Mass Millionaire Tax Advances

The Massachusetts legislature, meeting in Constitutional Convention (ConCon) this week gave procedural approval to placing a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2022. The proposal would amend the state constitution by allowing for classes of taxpayers to be taxed at different levels – more specifically, imposing an additional 4% surcharge on incomes exceeding $1 million.…

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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…

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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…

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