State/Local Updates Around the Country

Staying out west for the moment, on January 25, the Seattle City Council voted – unanimously – to pass an ordinance mandating that certain grocery store employees receive hazard pay during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Seattle minimum wage is currently $16.69 per hour and the hazard pay mandate will add $4 for each…

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Some States Stepping Up Business Relief

Over the past few weeks, we have been glad to be able to advise you of some additional state-sponsored COVID relief and business assistance programs. This week, we’re happy to report on a couple of more that are in the works. First in Harrisburg last week, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a $912 million COVID relief…

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Pandemic? What Pandemic?

As the effort to more than double the federal minimum wage across the country gathers steam with a democratic trifecta at the federal level – albeit a slim one, tone-deaf state politicians continue to pile on small business woes. A couple of examples, as referenced above while the Pennsylvania legislature is putting over $900 million…

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Coronavirus Restrictions, Limits and Closings

As we approach the end of 2020, (aka the year from Hell) we note a number of other order that some governors, mayors, county executive or other elected officials have mandated that we weren’t able to include elsewhere and thought it would be best to just run through them. In that vein, Philadelphia Mayor Jim…

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COVID-19 Lawsuits on the Rise: 5 Steps To Minimize the Risks

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought small business numerous challenges. We can now add another to the list: Employees filing increasing numbers of COVID-19 related lawsuits. In fact, according to the Fisher Phillips Employment Litigation Tracker, as of November 1, COVID-19 related lawsuits have been filed against 950 employers. The highest number of lawsuits were filed…

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Other COVID Restriction News

In other venues, similar court actions have taken place over the past couple of weeks. We advised you just over one month ago about the federal court in Pittsburgh invalidating a statewide shutdown and stay-at-home order by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. Well, last Friday Governor Wolf made good on his promise to veto HB 2513,…

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Minimum Wage Act Exemption Increasing in PA

Winning exemption from Pennsylvania overtime requirements recently became that much more difficult when the Pennsylvania Department of Labor (PDOL) published its latest guidance. Effective October 3, 2020, the new guidance increases the minimum weekly salary threshold to be exempt under the Pennsylvania Minimum Wage Act (PMWA) white-collar exemption to $684 per week (the same as…

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PA Governor Vetoes Loosening Restrictions

Fresh on the heels of the decision by US District Court judge William Stickman that Governor Tom Wolf’s limits on indoor and outdoor gatherings, business shutdowns and stay-at-home mandates were unconstitutional, the Pennsylvania legislature passed its own measures relaxing some of the restriction the governor announced for bars and restaurants in the Keystone State. Despite…

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Court Tosses PA Shutdown Mandate

In the first such decision rendered since the coronavirus pandemic first struck the U.S. back in March, a federal court in Pittsburgh ruled early this week that a statewide shutdown and stay-at-home order issued by the governor of Pennsylvania is unconstitutional. U.S. District Court judge William Stickman IV found that despite being well-intentioned, the order…

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Granting Small Business $urvival

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, states and local communities are taking dramatically different approaches to helping small businesses recover from the shutdown and the general economic turmoil that the pandemic has yielded. In that vein, several have announced small business grant and loan programs in the past (New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and…

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