New PFML Forms Required Today

The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) released new model notice forms last week and at the same time, updated its mandatory workplace poster. Fortunately, the PFML contribution rate for most employers has decreased with the new rates taking effect on January 1, 2023. That said, Massachusetts employers must provide a new PFML…

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Election Results

We’ll let the major media talking heads comment on most of the big races and results across the country from Tuesday’s midterm elections while we highlight some of the issues and results that might be of greater concern to franchisees and other small business owners. That said, we note that once again, the results were…

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Money Issues: Election Post-Mortem

Some state ballots also had questions relating compensation and tax policy looming. In that regard, voters were apparently feeling generous. Initiative 433 on the Nebraska ballot was approved and provides for a $15 per hour minimum wage to be phased in over the next three years. The measure passed easily with 62% of voters in…

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Ballot Measures, a Potpourri

Over the past few weeks, we’ve focused on various ballot initiatives around the country by subject matter – minimum wages last week, right to work laws the week prior, etc. Without getting too far into the weeds, that leaves us a couple to call to your attention. In Massachusetts, there’s a Millionaire’s tax on the…

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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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