Advocacy Action Center

Ask the Legislature to Honor their Commitment.


June 28 marked the two-year anniversary of Governor Charlie Baker signing the “Grand Bargain” into law. The law: 
•    Gradually raises the state minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2023.
•    Instituted one of the most generous paid family and medical leave (PFML) policies in the nation.

To partially offset the cost to retail employers and to avoid a 25% sales tax cut, lawmakers agreed to phase-out Massachusetts’ unique premium pay law by 2023. As you know, Massachusetts was one of two states that required retailers with more than 7 employees to pay time-and-a-half on Sundays and certain holidays. 

As part of the Grand Bargain deal including the phase out of retail premium pay, and the creation of an annual Sales Tax Holiday, RAM agreed to remove from the November, 2018 ballot our initiative to roll back the sales tax to 5%.  

RAM kept it’s end of the Bargain by removing the sales tax cut from the ballot.  To date, the Legislature has not fulfilled its end of the Bargain. A drafting error occurred in the Grand Bargain legislation omitting from the premium pay phase out the holidays of New Year’s Day, Columbus Day, and Veteran’s Day. Legislative leaders vowed to fix the error at a later date and passed the Grand Bargain into law, ultimately saddling small businesses with a $15 minimum wage and a new paid family and medical leave benefit. 

Now, two years later the Legislature has neglected to correct this worrisome error. During those two years, small businesses have experienced two minimum wage hikes and were forced to begin PPFML contributions to the Family and Employment Security Trust Fund. Legislative leaders simply have not fulfilled their promise to businesses in the Grand Bargain agreement by phasing-out premium pay requirements for ALL of the required holidays. 

Whether you are a retail business or not, send a message that demands that the Massachusetts Legislature honor their commitment to eliminate premium pay requirements. You may copy and paste our pre-drafted message or customize the message so you can tell them how this specifically affects your business. 

How can the Legislature be trusted on future so-called compromises if they will not remain true to their word? Thank you for taking action! 

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