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Regulatory Wrap-Up: Weekly review of retail-related legislative, judicial developments-July 8


Study - The University of California, Berkeley’s Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics published a new report that found raising the federal minimum wage to $15/hr won't increase unemployment in “low wage states.” In fact, the study found that it will have a positive impact, boosting incomes for the poorest households.

Paid Leave

California - The governor signed into law an expansion to the state paid leave program, extending it from six to eight weeks and increasing wage replacement up to 90 percent for some workers. The legislation also requires the governor to propose further expansions to the program.

Oregon - Legislation requiring 12 weeks of paid family leave passed the senate and heads to the governor’s desk for her expected signature. The cost of the program is split between employers and employees, 60 percent and 40 percent respectively. Small businesses, defined as companies with fewer than 25 employees could apply for grants to cover some cost of the program.

Labor Activism

UNITE-HERE - The largest culinary union in the country authorized a strike at major airports around the country. Up to 25,000 workers who prepare and package food for airlines could go on strike this summer. They are demanding increases in pay and benefits.

UFCW - California affiliates of the grocery union voted to authorize a strike this week. They collectively represent roughly 46,000 workers at stores like Ralph’s, Vons and Pavilions in southern and central California. They are demanding increases in pay and benefits.

McDonald’s - In the ongoing campaign against the QSR chain nearly a dozen Democratic senators, a number of which are top contenders for the Democratic presidential primary, sent a letter to McDonald’s CEO demanding a full investigation into workplace violence against employees as well as the implementation of a comprehensive plan to address the issue at both corporate-owned and franchised restaurants. The lawmakers also urged the Labor Department to immediately conduct on-site inspections.


Rhode Island - The governor signed into law a requirement that online marketplace providers collect sales taxes on sales made by third-party vendors on their site. The bill was part of a larger package of tax-related issues.

Wisconsin - The governor signed into law a requirement that online marketplace providers collect sales taxes on sales made by third-party vendors on their site. The law also reduces individual income tax rates based on the collection of sales taxes from out-of-state retailers.

Key Takeaways

  • Following successful strikes in a number of different sectors, unions are reviving the use of the tactic. Pending strikes by the UFCW and UNITE-HERE demonstrate that food retailing is no exception to this trend. Expect labor organizations to invest in workplace organizing and direct action if this approach continues to earn victories at the bargaining table. Ultimately that approach will impact both unionized and nonunionized employers.

Legislature Status for Week of 7/8/19

  • The United States Senate is in session this week

  • The United States House is in session this week

  • Four state legislatures are in regular session:

    • CA, MA, MI, NC


Check out our Working Lunch podcast each week that includes further analysis into these legislative issues, policy, politics and much more. You can find Working Lunch on the Nation's Restaurant News website, or by clicking here, and when you download the podcast and subscribe on iTunes here.

The Regulatory Wrap-Up is presented by Align Public Strategies. Click here to learn how Align can provide your brand with the counsel and insight you need to navigate the policy and political issues impacting retail.

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