November 10, 2021


Veterans Day Reminder

RAM members are reminded that Massachusetts law imposes a number of requirements on retail businesses operating on Veterans Day-Thursday, November 11th.  First, all work performed in non-exempt retail stores on the holiday must be voluntary, and most employees must be paid at least 1.2 times their regular hourly rate of pay for any work performed on the holiday. Second, retailers are prohibited from opening prior to 1:00pm on Veterans Day, unless the retailer obtains a local police permit issued at the discretion of the local police chief.  Lastly, employers must also grant leave to employees who are veterans, if requested, to observe Veterans Day, regardless of whether the employee participate in a Veterans Day celebration.  Employers are not required to pay for the leave, but may elect to do so voluntarily.  Members may access the 2021 Retail Holiday Schedule here.  Members with questions may contact RAM General Counsel, Ryan Kearney at [email protected].

PFML Update: 2022 Workplace posters and notifications available for download

All Massachusetts employers must distribute information to their employees and display a workplace poster that explains Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML).

The Department of Family and Medical Leave has updated the necessary notifications and posters so that they reflect the 2022 maximum benefit amount and contribution rates. Click here to download what you need.

For updated notices: Employers must provide any new employee a notification form within 30 days of hire.  Each employee should return a signed form or the employer needs to be able to demonstrate their effort to provide the information to the employee. For current employees who have previously signed a form, employers must provide information on the new contribution rate 30 days in advance of the rate change. The notice may be provided electronically and does not require an updated signature.

For updated posters: You must display the poster at your workplace in a location where it can be easily read. If your workforce is working remotely, you should follow your company policy regarding the display of employment posters.
If 5 or more individuals in your workforce have a primary language other than English and DFML has provided translations for that language, you must display those versions as well. 
Translated posters are available from DFML for the following languages: Arabic, Chinese, French, Haitian Creole, Italian, Khmer, Korean, Lao, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Vietnamese.
Learn more about informing your workforce.


OSHA Vaccine Mandate / NRF compliance packet


Following the Biden Administration’s release of its OSHA vaccination emergency temporary standard last week, 26 states and a number of private employers and organizations, including the National Retail Federation (NRF), have filed various lawsuits in opposition to the rule in the federal circuit courts.  In response, the Department of Justice moved this week to merge the multiple legal challenges into one consolidated case which will now be considered by a single, randomly selected federal circuit court in the coming weeks.  Given the legal challenges, the future of the emergency temporary standard remains uncertain and a final resolution may not be reached for weeks.
RAM strongly encourages members to continue to prepare for implementation of the policies and procedures called for in the emergency temporary standard, in order to avoid the risks associated with non-compliance should the legal challenges prove unsuccessful and the rule goes into effect as scheduled.  In an effort to facilitate member compliance, RAM’s partners at the NRF have agreed to work towards issuing guidance materials including model notifications, sample forms and best practices.  Once available the guidance materials will be circulated to members as well as posted to the RAM website.  


MassDEP Adds Mattresses,
Textiles to Disposal Ban List

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) recently issued its final 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan, establishing a goal to reduce disposal statewide by 30% over the next decade.  The Plan also set a long-term goal of achieving a 90% reduction in disposal by 2050. 
To achieve those objectives, MassDEP will expand its current waste disposal bans by:

  • Lowering the threshold on commercial organic/food waste to facilities (including retail stores and restaurants) generating more than one-half ton of these materials per week; and
  • Adding mattresses and textiles to the list of materials banned from disposal or transport for disposal in MA.
The waste ban changes take effect on November 1, 2022.