April 1, 2019
Last Wednesday, March 27, the Georgians First Commission held its first meeting. The commission was created by Governor Kemp and is comprised of 18 members to review policies and procedures and remove burdensome regulations to make Georgia the number one state in the country for small business.
Governor Kemp says, “The Georgians First Commission will work to create an environment where small businesses can hire more Georgians, expand operations in their local communities, and create greater economic opportunity in every part of our state.”
March 8, 2019
Courtesy of NACS
On March 7, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its proposed update to the “white collar” exemption, also known as the overtime rule.
In 2016, the Obama Administration proposed and finalized dramatic changes to the overtime rule, which doubled the salary threshold under which all salaried employees must be paid overtime. That rule was ultimately invalidated by a federal court in Texas prior to implementation, necessitating this move by the current DOL.
The new proposal seeks to move the salary threshold from $455 per week ($23,660 annualized) to $679 per week ($35,308 annualized). This amount is slightly above adjusting the current salary threshold for inflation, roughly $33,000 annualized.
September 19, 2018
NACS has raised concerns about the latest settlement announced in the In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation (MDL 1720).
“The broken swipe fee system will not be fixed simply by Visa and MasterCard throwing some money to merchants,” said Lyle Beckwith, NACS senior vice president for government relations. “These cases must bring real reform to make a difference. We are pleased to see that some of the merchants’ lawyers and representatives refused to sign onto this flawed settlement and are continuing to press for the changes that antitrust law calls for and merchants and their customers deserve.”
May 7, 2018
As of today, the Food and Drug Administration’s “menu labeling” rule is in effect. Retailers, who share a store name with at least 19 other stores, must begin labeling the caloric content of any prepared foods in their stores. This includes self-serve beverage, such as soda fountains and coffee.
The rule has been delayed for a number of years by both FDA’s only action and/or Congressional direction, but is now in effect. FDA has indicated that they are not intending to sanction any retailers for violations for the first year of the new rule but rather treat that time as an educational period. However, retailers in states and localities that have passed their own identical or nearly identical rules, such as California and New York City, should be aware that those localities are able to enforce their rules beginning today as well. Those jurisdictions are not restricted by the FDA’s plan to treat this year as educational.
In the meantime, NACS GR staff are continuing to work with FDA and congressional allies to continue to get changes to the rule which would make compliance less burdensome on convenience retailers. Legislation that would have amended the rule passed the House earlier this year with a bipartisan majority. The Common-Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act would make compliance make sense in different retail channels. Efforts to move the legislation in the Senate have been stymied by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), who is ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which has jurisdiction over the legislation in the body.
While that legislation remains pending before the United States Senate, retailers covered by the rule should be complying with the rule as of today. NACS members can visit the NACS Menu Labeling Compliance page where they can access a document that helps outline retailers’ requirements under this rule. Furthermore, this morning the FDA released its latest round of guidance on the rule which can be found HERE.
February 7, 2018
The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2017, H.R. 772, passed the House with a bipartisan vote of 266 to 157. Lyle Beckwith, senior vice president of government relations at NACS, issued the following statement in response to passage:
“In passing the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act (CSNDA) today, the U.S. House of Representatives has reached a critical milestone toward the shared goals of providing consumers the information they need to make wise nutritional choices – without burdening them with higher prices and reduced choices, or exposing small businesses and their employees with to insurmountable barriers to compliance, crippling costs and potential criminal penalties for innocent mistakes.”