Update and Alert | Implementing State Regulation of Children’s Products Behind Schedule; Vermont Manufacturers Left in Limbo; Manufacturers Should Check if Covered

As you might know, Vermont enacted expansive requirements on manufacturers of products made or marketed for children in 2014.  The new law, referred to as Act 188, imposes reporting (and thereby testing) requirements for 66 chemicals used in products or present as contaminants, provides for publication of product information, and provides for potential addition of […]

Action Alert | Independent Contractors: Long Overdue Reforms Introduced, but Organized Labor Mobilizing to Kill Legislation

Last week, after final negotiations and unanimous approval the previous week and testimony over much of the legislative session, the House Commerce Committee introduced H.867, making a number of reforms to employee classification and related statutes. The bill draws upon provisions and principles in H.773 and H.378, and was shaped in large part through negotiations […]

Miscellaneous Tax Bill Coming to the House Floor, Part of Nearly $50 Million in New Taxes and Fees

The Miscellaneous Tax Bill, H.873, was approved by the Ways and Means Committee and formally introduced last week. It includes several provisions raising concerns for employers, increasing “ongoing” taxes by approximately $10.5 million with an additional increase of “one-time” FY17 revenue of $3.7 million. See related posts regarding increases of particular concern, an increase the […]

Action Alert | Employer Assessment Increased Significantly in House Miscellaneous Tax Bill, H.873

The Miscellaneous Tax Bill, H.873, was approved by the Ways and Means Committee and formally introduced last week. It includes several provisions raising concerns for employers, arguably the most troubling being a significant increase and expansion of the so-called “employer assessment”, i.e. the former Catamount Tax. The changes would raise an additional $6 million in […]

Fuel Gross Receipts Tax on Non-Electric Energy

The Miscellaneous Tax Bill, H.873, was approved by the Ways and Means Committee and formally introduced last week. Among other tax increases, it would increase the fuel gross receipts tax on liquid fossil fuels (heating oil, kerosene, etc.), natural gas, and coal from 0.5% to 0.75%. The tax would not be increased on electricity. The […]

Fast Moving Bill Could have Wide Ranging Consequences for Products Involving Pesticides and Related Treatments

In a move that caught a number of legislators and potentially affected parties off guard, the House Agriculture Committee last week rushed into introduction and passage on the House Floor a bill, H.861, that would greatly expand the regulatory authority of the Agency of Agriculture over any product treated with or otherwise integrating pesticides. The […]

Update on Employee Classification and Independent Contractors: Will there Be Progress this Week?

The House Commerce Committee will seek to finalize legislation this week to reform employee classification statutes to help address concerns that the current law stifles the use of independent contractors. As the Committee continues to work with an extensively modified version of H.773 (see past posts for context), several outstanding issues could still derail a […]

Update on Marijuana Legalization: Will It Pass the House? Will Drug Testing Reform Get the Attention It Deserves?

Legislation to legalize recreational marijuana, S.241, is pending committee action in the House after passing the Senate before last week’s break. It remains unclear what its fate will be. There remains a “conventional wisdom” estimation that there is too much opposition in key committees, like Judiciary and Appropriations, and general unease to pass the bill. […]

Prohibiting Questions about Criminal History on Initial Job Applications

The House General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee took initial testimony the week before the Town Meeting break and is expected to try and pass out this week legislation, H.261, that would prohibit employers in most circumstances from including a question about criminal history on an initial job application. Exceptions would include jobs where federal […]

Update on Mandatory Paid Leave: Legislation Set to Be Signed into Law this Week; Employers Should Understand Requirements and Options

Governor Shumlin is scheduled to sign H.187, imposing mandatory paid leave, into law Wednesday. The following are the core provisions: Employers of all sizes must provide up to 40 hours of paid sick, family, and domestic violence leave in a 12-month period to employees working an average of 18 hours or more a week (the […]