May 29, 2020

Governor Talks Phase II of Re-opening, Releases Guidance for Restaurants & Lodging,
Retail Guidance Expected Early Next Week

Governor Charlie Baker discussed next steps in the Reopening Massachusetts plan today and released guidance for the restaurant and lodging sectors to review in preparation for their limited Phase 2 reopening.  RAM expects guidance for the retail sector to be released on Monday or Tuesday of next week.  The specific date on which Phase 2 will begin will be announced on June 6th.
On Monday, the Governor will issue an updated Executive Order with a detailed list of sectors that fall into each phase.  The order will detail steps to allow Phase 2 businesses (retail, restaurant, lodging) to bring back employees to prepare for reopening. 
Restaurants will be limited to outdoor dining only at the start of Phase 2, with indoor dining to follow later in Phase 2.  The restaurant guidance is here.
The lodging guidance is here.
All of these steps and the progression into Phase 2 is incumbent upon the continued positive trends in the reported public health data.  Click here for more information on the full reopening plan.


MassDEP Announces Timeline for Bottle Bill Requirements/Enforcement to Resume


The MA Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) today announced a timeline for the state to resume enforcement of beverage container redemption requirements for retailers.  MassDEP and the Attorney General’s Office will resume enforcement of beverage container redemption requirements in two phases:

  • Enforcement of redemption requirements will resume at retailers using reverse vending machines (RVMs) on June 5, 2020.
  • Enforcement of redemption requirements will resume at retailers accepting containers over the counter on June 19, 2020.

Click here for detailed information on the plan for resumed enforcement.

Updated UI FAQ’s and Returning to Work: Guide for Employers

As Massachusetts businesses begin the process of reopening their stores and bringing back employees, RAM reminds members to review the state’s Unemployment Insurance FAQs and Return to Work Guide for Employers.  This updated guidance provides helpful tips on reestablishing your workforce and overcoming anticipated challenges created by the unemployment insurance program.  Key topics discussed include, how to communicate an offer to return to work, what to do if individuals refuse to return, and issues involving the additional $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit.