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



Delaware: The expected vote to increase the minimum wage to $10.25/hr by 2020, up from $8.25/hr, was delayed in the Senate. The House has already approved the legislation. If it eventually passes the Senate, the governor has indicated he will sign it.

Illinois: The legislature recently passed a bill to raise the state minimum wage to $15/hr by 2022, up from the current $8.25. Many expect Republican Governor Rauner to veto the measure although publically he’s remained noncommittal. Rauner has 60 days to sign or veto the bill. Last year, he vetoed legislation establishing a $15/hr minimum wage targeted solely at caregivers for those with developmental disabilities.

Minnesota: Governor Dayton vetoed a labor preemption measure that would have nullified paid leave ordinances in Minneapolis and St. Paul and prevented municipalities from enacting minimum wage or benefit requirements above the state standard.

Missouri: In the final hours of session, the state legislature approved a much-anticipated labor preemption law. However, because some House members left the Chamber before the final vote was taken, the legislation lacked the supermajority necessary to take immediate effect. The law will instead go into effect Aug. 28, 2017. Therefore, operators in St. Louis must comply with the city’s higher $10/hr requirement until that date.

Ohio: A Franklin County (Columbus) judge ruled against a statewide labor preemption law enacted last December, which prevents localities from enacting ordinances on wage, benefits and scheduling higher than the state standard. The judge did not rule on the merits of the preemption but rather on a potentially correctable legal technicality. While the judge's ruling currently only applies to Franklin County, it has statewide ramifications. In cities like Cleveland, the ruling may encourage activists to restart local efforts around scheduling or minimum wage. Potential remedies may be found in the court or the legislature - the Attorney General is likely to appeal the court decision and the legislature is still in session.

Rhode Island: House lawmakers reached a budget deal that includes a moderate minimum wage increase. The minimum wage would increase by $.50/hr Jan. 1, 2018 and another $.40/hr Jan. 1, 2019, rising to a new minimum wage rate of $10.50/hr. The legislature is expected to approve the budget package next week, and the governor is expected to sign it into law.

Minneapolis, MN:The City Council directed staff to draft an ordinance that would raise the minimum wage in the city to $15/hr. They plan to hold a public hearing on June 22 and likely vote on the ordinance before the end of the month.

Paid Leave

Federal Paid Leave: The White House released President Trump’s budget recently which, as expected, includes a plan to provide six weeks of paid leave to new mothers, fathers and adoptive parents. Under the plan, states would be required to provide leave payments through existing unemployment insurance programs and would have to identify cuts or tax hikes, as needed, to cover the costs. The proposal drew criticism from both Republicans and Democrats.

AEI/Brookings Institution: A bipartisan coalition, the American Enterprise Institute–Brookings Paid Family Leave Working Group, released a report calling for a national paid family leave policy. AEI is a conservative think tank and has joined the growing list of right-of-center players - most notably President Trump - advocating for a policy. This dynamic, along with polling indicating that 73 percent of Republicans and 81 percent of Democrats favor a national family leave law, are leaving many Republicans both in Congress and at the state level in an increasingly perilous position when opposing paid leave.

Massachusetts: Legislators continue to debate a paid family and medical leave program. Labor interests have threatened a ballot initiative on both paid leave and minimum wage if the legislature does not act during this session. There is significant support in both chambers for a bill, and the debate could continue for the duration of the year-long session.


Oregon: With just over four weeks left in the legislative session, negotiations related to a statewide scheduling mandate are ongoing. With a statewide preemption sunsetting in August, employers are incentivized to compromise on some issues. Discussions with union leaders around carve outs for collective bargaining agreements and the length of advance notice requirements for employers are the outstanding issues for the yet-to-be-introduced package.

Emeryville, CA: The City Council is in the process of developing rules for implementing the scheduling ordinance, passed October 2016. The rules are expected to be made public June 26 and are scheduled to take effect July 1, following a brief, open comment period. Staff has proposed a “roll-out” enforcement period from July 1 to Sept. 30 with “regular enforcement” beginning on Oct. 1, meaning fines for violations will not occur until October. Retailers will initially be notified of violations but not fined.

Labor Policy

Persuader Rule: The U.S. Labor Department is proposing to rescind the persuader rule, which increased disclosure requirements for consultants and attorneys that assist companies with union campaigns. It never took effect because a court issued a permanent injunction against it in November. The proposal will be published in the Federal Register June 12 and will be open to public comment for 60 days.

NLRB: President Trump’s nominations for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) are expected any day. Marvin Kaplan and William Emanuel are the presumptive nominees and are both management-side attorneys. Once they are seated, Republicans will hold a majority on the board for the first time in almost a decade.

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