SERVICE OF ALCOHOL AND WINE AT BEVERAGE MANUFACTURERS: Continuing the gradual creep of beverage and wine manufacturers wanting to serve more of their product at their facilities without having to make an investment in food service, HB 1725 is gradually making its way forward in the legislature. The House Commerce Committee has voted 15-2 to recommend passage of the bill with amendment. As amended the bill would increase the amount of product manufacturers could serve at their facilities. The full House will vote on the bill next week.
SEPARATE BATHROOMS FOR EACH SEX: The House passed HB1382, which would repeal the requirement that restaurants provide separate bathrooms for each sex. The bill now goes to the Senate.
ALLOWING CITIES AND TOWNS TO LICENSE SHORT TERM RENTALS: The House voted to send HB 1635 to interim study. This effectively kills the bill for this year. The bill would have allowed cities and towns to issue licenses for the operation of a short term rentals like Airbnb and HomeAway.
REDUCING LABOR REGULATIONS: The House Labor Committee has voted 17-4 to recommend that HB 1762 be referred to interim study. The bill would reduce and eliminate many state labor regulations. It would: prohibit fines from being imposed if the general intent of the law was met; written documentation would not be required to meet the intent of the law and paperwork discrepancies would not be fined; working hour restrictions for 16 and 17 year olds would be eliminated; employees could buy company clothing; the need for employee signing/documenting when leaving before 2-hour minimum on their own, when correcting hours to be paid due to their clock in errors, or when receiving pay increases would be eliminated; no random audits of employers would be allowed; employers would be allowed to have mandatory tip-sharing policies; opportunity for unpaid internships would be expanded; reduce record keeping from 4 to 3 years; warnings before fines by providing employers 30 days to fix violations; fines for not posting labor laws in “conspicuous” place would be eliminated; and it would eliminate need for written safety plan. The full House was scheduled to vote on the bill this past week. The snowstorm delayed action until next week. A similar bill was tabled in the Senate.
YOUTH EMPLOYMENT: The Senate postponed action on SB 318 until next week. Introduced at the request of NHLRA, the bill would repeal employment restrictions for 16 and 17-year olds. Current state law limits the number of hours 16 and 17 year olds can work. Federal Labor law has no such restrictions, so this bill will make NH law consistent with federal labor law. During Senate Commerce Committee deliberations on the bill, a lengthy and controversial amendment to the bill was proposed which complicates the bill’s passage. NHLRA is working to try to salvage the original intent of the bill.
INCREASE IN TIPPED EMPLOYEE WAGE: The House Labor Committee has voted 12-9 to recommend that HB 1246 be killed. The bill would increase the tip wage from $3.27 to the full minimum hourly wage by January 1, 2020. The full House was scheduled to vote on the bill this past week. The snowstorm delayed action until next week. NHLRA opposes this bill.
LIMITING THE TYPES OF BEVERAGES OFFERED WITH A CHILDREN’S MEAL: By a vote of 292-39 the House killed HB 1668, which would have limited the beverages offered with a children’s meal to milk or a non-dairy milk alternative, 100 percent juice or fruit juice combined with water or carbonated water with no added caloric sweetness, water, sparkling water, or flavored water with no added natural or artificial sweeteners. NHLRA opposed this bill.
PAYMENT FOR UNUSED VACATION OR PERSONAL TIME: The House Labor Committee has voted 12-9 to recommend that HB 1393 be killed. The bill would require an employer that terminates an employee for any reason to pay that employee no later than the next regular pay period for unused vacation time or personal time. The Committee also voted 12-9 to recommend that a similar bill (HB 1201) be killed. The full House was scheduled to vote on these bills this past week. The snowstorm has delayed action until next week.
ADVANCE NOTICE OF WORK SCHEDULE: The House voted to kill HB 1451. The bill would have required employers with 10 or more employees or 2 or more locations to provide an employee with a work schedule in writing at least 7 days before the first day of the work schedule. The employer would have had to post the written work schedule in a conspicuous and accessible location. If the employer would have requested changes to the written work schedule the employer would have had to provide the employee with timely notice of the change and the employee would have been entitled to decline any work shifts not included in the original noticed work schedule. Meanwhile, the Senate voted to table a similar bill, SB 422. NHLRA opposed these bills.
LOCAL SURCHARGE ON OCCUPANCY UNDER THE MEALS AND ROOMS TAX: The House Ways & Means Committee has voted 14-7 to recommend that HB 1609 be killed. The bill would allow cities and towns to add an additional surcharge not to exceed $2 per occupancy per 24-hour period on rentals within that city or town. This surcharge would be in addition to the state’s 9 percent meals and rooms tax. The licensee would remit the surcharge to the state along with the 9 percent state tax. The state would then send those funds collected back to the city or town. The full House was scheduled to vote on the bill this past week. The snowstorm has delayed action until next week. NHLRA opposes this bill.
Contact the NHLRA with your legislative questions or concerns at 603-228-9585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.