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Regulatory Wrap-Up: Where state and national policy impact retail



California: A state overtime pay bill that matches the salary threshold of the Obama administration’s overtime regulation at $47,476 passed the Assembly and now heads to the Senate. The federal regulation is currently on hold due to a court injunction and Labor Secretary Acosta is expected to rescind the rule. New York recently instituted an overtime rate at a similar level.

Illinois: In order to prevent a gubernatorial veto, supporters in the legislature have placed a parliamentary hold on the $15/hr minimum wage bill that passed the legislature by a slim partisan margin. Since a veto override is unlikely, legislators hope to negotiate with Governor Rauner who has indicated support for a lower increase but voiced opposition to a $15/hr wage.

Massachusetts: Labor interests continue to ramp up pressure on lawmakers to act on three priority issues: a $15/hr wage rate, paid family leave and a “millionaires tax.” They have stated their intent to place all three issues on the ballot in 2018 if the legislature fails to act. The paid leave proposals under debate differ widely, offering anywhere from 12 to 26 weeks of leave. Some versions of the legislation establish a trust funded by both employers and employees to compensate workers for partial wages during leave periods.

Rhode Island: The House passed a bill to increase the state minimum wage to $10.50/hr by January 2019, up from the current $9.60/hr. The bill now goes to the Senate. If passed, the governor will likely support it.

Paid Leave

IvankaLeave: Trump advisor and daughter, Ivanka Trump, met with key congressional members last week to discuss proposals on paid and family leave. Some Republican senators have embraced the idea of paid family leave, voicing support for a proposal to give tax credits to companies that offer at least two weeks of paid leave.

New Jersey: The Assembly passed a bill to expand paid family leave from six to 12 weeks and it now moves to the Senate. The program is funded by employee payroll contributions. Should the bill move through the Senate, the governor is likely to veto the expansion.


Federal Scheduling Bill: Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced their reintroduction of legislation that would require employers to provide workers' schedules two weeks in advance. The bill would impose a financial penalty for last-minute changes. This or any other federal scheduling bill is unlikely to move forward.

Oregon: The Senate passed a compromise scheduling bill last week with bipartisan support. The legislation is a result of intense negotiations over the past year. The bill now moves to the House for consideration. The Senate version would take effect July 2018 and applies to retail, hospitality and food service employers that are part of a “chain” and employ at least 500 employees worldwide. Primary components of the legislation include: seven days advanced notice for the first three years and 14 days beginning by 2020 with one hour of penalty pay for changes; a rest period of at least 10 hours between employee shifts; employers may use a “voluntary standby list” to address unanticipated customer needs or unexpected employee absences without penalty pay; and a permanent, statewide preemption of all local government scheduling mandates. The law will be enforced by the state labor department with a narrow private right of action for retaliation.

San Francisco: Labor advocates recently published a report that highlights the challenges with enforcing the city's first-in-the-nation scheduling law. The report calls out the lack of awareness among employees of the law's provisions as the most glaring shortcoming. Operators should anticipate increased awareness of the law's mandate provisions, particularly around penalty pay and fines for non-compliance.

Labor Policy

NLRB Nomination: President Trump officially nominated Marvin Kaplan for a seat on the National Labor Relations Board. Kaplan is currently counsel at the independent Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission. If he earns Senate confirmation, Kaplan would be the second Republican on the five- member panel. The current chairman is also a Republican and there is an open fifth seat that is expected to be filled shortly by the administration.


La Raza: The National Council of La Raza, the country's largest Hispanic advocacy group, announced their public support for a $12 minimum wage by 2020, paid family leave and federal protections against wage theft.

Food Sovereignty

Maine: Governor Paul LePage signed the Act to Recognize Local Control Regarding Food Systems, legitimizing the authority of towns and communities to enact ordinances regulating local food distribution free from state regulatory control. The first-of-its-kind law will allow for the sale of raw and prepared foods independent of any licensing or governmental oversight.

Health Care

U.S. Senate: Senate Republican leadership introduced the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 which is their version of a bill designed to repeal and replace portions of Obamacare, and a response to the House’s American Health Care Act of 2017 which passed in early May. The Senate bill would maintain current Medicaid funding levels until 2020 then begin to phase down for three years. The bill zeroes out the employer and individual
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