18th State Enacts CROWN Act

The Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural hair or CROWN Act continues to win favor with state legislatures across the country and Massachusetts became the latest this week as Governor Charlie Baker signed H.4554 into law on Tuesday. The legislation, which has now been adopted in 18 states around the country, was first…

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Court Clears Millionaire’s Tax for Ballot

The Massachusetts Supreme Court this week cleared the so-called Fair Share Act to appear on the Massachusetts November ballot. The proposed constitutional amendment seeks to impose an additional 4% surcharge on Massachusetts taxpayers with income in excess of $1 million in any calendar year. Currently, the Massachusetts Constitution prohibits any kind of graduated income tax,…

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Court Rules Franchisees May Be Employees

Last week, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the independent contractor statute also applies to the franchisor-franchisee relationship and does not conflict with the FTC Franchise Rule 7-Eleven franchisees may in fact qualify as employees under the state ABC test. With its decision in Patel v 7-Eleven, Inc. the court in some ways “threaded…

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Independent Joe #72 February/March 2022

 Since the coronavirus pandemic was first declared an emergency here in the United States, we’ve been making slow, but steady progress and we’re now starting to see the fruits of those efforts. Oh, not with regard to COVID.  I’m talking about the FTC Franchise Rule and government efforts to clamp down on abusive franchisors,…

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Drop Mask Mandates, Extend HERO Act

As we advised you last week, the state of New York is just one of several state and local governments that have recently dropped masking mandates as COVID infections from the omicron variant decline across the country. At the same time however, New York has extended the application of the so-called HEROES Act for another…

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ACA Reporting Deadlines

Considering how the Trump administration, the then-republican controlled Congress and the courts pecked away at mandates of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (a.k.a. ObamaCare), it’s easy to forget that there are still obligations under the ACA with which employers must comply. In that vein, ACA reporting deadlines under the federal law for Applicable Large Employers…

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Happiness Fuels Growth for Husband and Wife Franchisees

“Happy customers and happy employees. If you have those two things, you can do anything,” says Mark Pesce. With a business degree and 30 years of experience under his belt, the Massachusetts franchisee is no stranger to budgets and balance sheets. But if he had to sum up his business plan in one sentence, that…

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Independent Joe #71 December 2021/January 2022

 It’s been a long journey since the coronavirus pandemic reached our shores back in early 2020. Over the course of those first few months, governments ordered non-essential businesses shut, indoor dining was banned and people who left their homes were told to wear masks (even for a solitary jog). Houses of worship were ordered…

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MA Paid Family Medical Leave Rates

The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) announced back in October that updates to contribution rates and weekly benefit amounts under the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act (PFMLA) would take effect on January 1, 2022. DDIFO employment counsel, Morgan Brown & Joy, advises that effective at the New Year, the maximum weekly…

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Independent Joe #70 October/November 2021

Back in 2014, Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees were adding amenities like free Wi-Fi, comfortable seating and even conference rooms to appeal to a growing sector of people staying connected and working remotely. By then, Dunkin’ had already established itself as a leader in drive-thru service—having helped pioneer the modern drive-thru experience. But in the late 2000s…

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