As the legislative session gears up there are some important proposals of which small businesses should be aware:
Paid Family and Medical Leave – Proposals in both the Massachusetts Legislature and on the 2018 ballot attempt to enact 26 weeks of paid medical leave and 16 weeks of paid family leave for employers of all sizes. The cost of this benefit would be split between the employee AND employer. Please stay tuned for updates on this very costly proposal.
Minimum Wage – Once again several bills along with a ballot initiative seek to enact a $15 minimum wage in Massachusetts. The last of a 3-year minimum wage increase went into effect in January 2017 and activist seek another minimum wage hike. It is important to note that Massachusetts lacks a training or teen wage that 39 other states currently utilize. Massachusetts is also 1 of 2 states that requires premium pay for retailers on Sundays, that would mean $22.50 per hour on Sundays if a $15 minimum wage is enacted.
Income Tax Surcharge – The effort to enact a higher tax rate (9.1%) on high income earners (including pass-thru entities) is undergoing a legal challenge with NFIB MA State Director Christopher Carlozzi as a plaintiff. The oral arguments before the Supreme Judicial Court are scheduled for February 6th with a court decision expected by summer.
This is just a small sample of issues that small business owners should have on their radar screens as legislators begin to meet in formal sessions during 2018. We will certainly ask NFIB members to contact elected officials via email urging them to support small business as the year progresses.