84 Lumber names Operation Appreciation winners

The pro dealer awards 4 U.S. Army veterans with store credits of $8,400.

BY HBSDealer Staff

84 Lumber held its third annual Operation Appreciation contest this past May and received dozens of nominations from across the country.

The contest offered an $8,400 store credit to three military members or families in need of building supplies and ran throughout May in honor of Military Appreciation Month. Thanks to donations from company employees, a fourth winner was selected this year.

The idea to recognize a fourth winner came from Mark Mollico, western office director at 84 Lumber. In a memo he wrote to his colleagues, Mollico emphasized and praised the company’s willingness to support those in need.

Following the example of owner and President Maggie Hardy Magerko, Mollico challenged associates to go above and beyond for a good cause. Within just a few weeks, $8,400 had been raised.

“I was beyond proud of our associates who donated funds for an additional Operation Appreciation winner,” said Mollico. “That tremendous teamwork will give another military family some peace of mind.”

84 Lumber’s Marketing team, along with Mollico and other associates, helped choose this year’s winners:

Ken Drombosky – Army veteran from Boardman, Ohio: While undergoing treatment for a fractured back in 1968, Ken Drombosky was drafted into the Army and sent to Vietnam, where he led an infantry platoon with the First Air Cavalry. He was eventually diagnosed with cancer after frequent exposure to Agent Orange, a powerful herbicide that was used by U.S. military forces in Vietnam. He also copes with hearing loss and PTSD.

Drombosky is considered to be fully disabled and is a member of the Disabled American Veterans organization in Austintown, Ohio. Despite his struggles, he continues to focus on the positives in his life.

“There are many members [of the organization] who are a lot worse than me,” he said. “I have a loving and supportive family and I have a full life.”

He and his wife plan to use their $8,400 for various projects around their house, starting with repairing the plumbing in their basement bathroom.

Casey Nally — Army veteran from Winslow, Ind. After 9/11, many men and women felt a strong desire to join our armed forces. Casey Nally was one of them. In the years following the tragedy, Nally served three combat tours with the Army — two in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. He was injured twice in Iraq while on different deployments and subsequently received two Purple Hearts. He also battled cancer while in the service.

Nally now suffers from extreme PTSD and anxiety yet still manages to put others first, starting with his 9-year-old son Logan. Whether it’s for sports, school or anything in between, he ensures that Logan has everything he needs to do well and live a happy life. In years past, Nally put his own life on hold to care for his two grandfathers — both veterans — before they passed in 2017. He now dedicates much of his time to looking after his grandmother, who’s in hospice. Nally and Logan are residing in a 1970s mobile home that is quickly falling apart, particularly the roof. With his $8,400, Nally can repair the roof and attend to other needs to make a better living environment for himself and his son.

Nic McDonagh — Army veteran from Fuquay-Varina, N.C. Nic McDonagh has been with his wife RaeAnn since they were both 14. They stayed connected after high school when RaeAnn went to college and McDonagh enlisted in the Army. After returning from a deployment to Afghanistan, he and RaeAnn were married and eventually relocated to a military base in South Korea, where McDonagh was serving his second deployment.

RaeAnn, who is legally blind, faced the challenge of navigating a new area and an unfamiliar culture with limited eyesight. She found a full-time job in child development but soon discovered that her vision was getting worse, forcing her and her husband to return to the U.S. early to meet with a specialist. McDonagh and RaeAnn would like to start a family, but they first will use their $8,400 to complete different projects around their house to make it easier for RaeAnn when she loses her vision entirely.

Brian Smith — Army veteran, Richmond Hill, Ga. After 23 years in the Army and five deployments (two of which were voluntary), he dedicated much of his life to ensuring the safety of countless others. A selfless person by nature, Smith has since been looking after and supporting his wife — who is medically retired — and her two children.

The family moved into their first house together on Thanksgiving Day 2017 and immediately faced their first challenge: a water leak that ruined their wood floors. Since then, Smith has been working every day to repair and update the house, a task that has exhausted much time and money. With the $8,400, he will have more resources to complete his project and make the house more comfortable for himself and his family.

“We received many inspiring stories through this year’s Operation Appreciation campaign,” said Amy Smiley, vp of Marketing at 84 Lumber. “It was hard to choose between them, but we couldn’t be more honored to give these four winners a well-deserved reward for their service and sacrifice.”

Based in Eighty-Four, Pa., 84 Lumber operates more than 250 stores, component manufacturing plants, custom door shops, custom millwork shops and engineered wood product (EWP) centers in 30 states.


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Regulatory Wrap-Up

Regulatory Wrap-Up: Labor policy returns to the spotlight

The latest on health care, wages and paid leave — a coast-to-coast report from Align Public Strategies.

BY HBSDealer Staff


Federal — The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a decision that upheld a now-defunct Obama-era rule that had restricted employers’ authority to pool workers’ tips, sending the case back to the lower courts. The rule is no longer in effect due to language that was included in the omnibus spending bill earlier this year. The issue raised in this lawsuit covers the time period during which the Obama-era rule was in effect and the outcome could impact other employers. Meanwhile, the Labor Department is rewriting the tip pool rule and plans to release it later this year.

Delaware — Due to last minute negotiations, a bill to increase the state’s minimum wage to $9.25/hr over the next two years passed both chambers prior to the June 30 adjournment. Earlier this year, similar legislation was defeated by only one vote in the full senate due to a member’s concern over the impact on casinos in his district. That issue was resolved in the latest version of the bill. The legislation allows for younger workers (under 18) as well as new employees (first 90 days of employment) to be paid $8.75/hr.

Massachusetts — Raise Up Massachusetts announced that it would pull both its minimum wage and paid leave mandates from the Nov. ballot. In response, the governor signed into law the so-called grand bargain passed by the legislature. It raises the state’s minimum wage to $15/hr over a five-year period and raises the tipped wage to $6.75/hr by 2023. It also establishes both a medical and family paid leave program.

New York — The state labor department concluded its series of regional hearings on the elimination of the tipped wage in the state. The department is now expected to begin the rule-making process. However, no timeline has been announced.


Paid Leave

Massachusetts — As reported above, the so-called grand bargain was signed into law by the governor. The paid family and medical paid leave program requires businesses with 25 or more employees to provide up to 12 weeks of family leave and 20 weeks of medical leave with a maximum of 26 weeks total per year. Workers will be paid a percentage of their salary up to $850/wk. The medical leave provision will be funded by a 0.63 percent payroll tax split between employers and employees. Businesses with fewer than 25 employees do not have to pay into this fund. The family leave program will be employee-financed.

Austin, Texas — A judge denied a request for an injunction of the city’s paid leave law. The paid leave mandate was approved by the city in Feb. and has been subject to litigation by various business groups. The decision allows the city to move forward with an Oct. 1 enactment date. The complainants will likely appeal the decision in an effort to delay implementation. A state legislator has already pre-filed a bill for the 2019 session that would preempt local ordinances on employee benefits.


Swipe Fees

Federal — In a major loss for the retail community, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of American Express in Ohio v. American Express. The court upheld a lower court decision that American Express can prohibit merchants from encouraging customers to use lower-fee cards, stating that the practice is not anti-competitive as retailers argued.


Labor Policy

U.S. Supreme Court — The U.S. Supreme Court decided a landmark case, Janus v. AFSCME, this week. The case centered on the issue of whether or not public employees can be forced to pay so-called agency fees to fund public sector unions. The court ruled for Mark Janus who argued that he shouldn’t have to pay union dues. The ruling does not directly impact entry-level employers but is notable because it is expected to dramatically impact the revenues of a number of major unions.

Labor Department — The Labor Department will revoke the controversial Obama-era persuader rule. The regulation, which was enjoined by the courts, sought to expand disclosure requirements for employers that contract outside consultants to advise on union organizing campaigns.

NLRB — Following a successful organizing campaign by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), Boeing has asked the National Labor Relations Board to clarify how its regional officials should apply the Board’s recently-revised micro-union test. The company asserts that the newly-unionized IAM bargaining unit at its South Carolina facility is not valid under the new test.

No-Poaching Agreements — A federal judge allowed an antitrust claim by a former employee of a McDonald’s franchisee to proceed. The class action focuses on the company’s no-poaching policy which prohibits one franchise from hiring employees of another franchise for a six-month period. The proposed class action seeks damages for alleged antitrust violations.

Jimmy John’s — A federal judge ruled that Jimmy John’s does not jointly employ, along with its franchisees, a group of former assistant store managers. The managers alleged that they were unfairly exempted from overtime requirements.



Immigration Protests — Immigration activists, in reaction to family separation at the border, have organized 130 rallies in 48 states to occur on June 30. While there is no indication that hospitality or retail locations will be targeted, some employers may experience call outs or workplace disruptions.



New Jersey — Following a contentious negotiation, the governor and legislative leaders reached a budget deal that involves a temporary increase in corporate taxes and an increased levy on higher incomes. Corporations will see a 2.5% surtax in the first two years with a reduction to 1.5% the following two years before phasing out entirely. Higher earners will pay 10.75% on income over $5 million.

New Jersey — The legislature advanced a bill to the governor’s desk that would allow municipalities with more than 200,000 residents to impose a payroll tax on employers. If a given municipality also has a median income above $55,000/yr, the funds collected must be used for school purposes. Currently only Jersey City qualifies for both parameters. However, there are several jurisdictions across the state that have the required number of residents to impose the tax.

New Jersey — The legislature added language in the budget package that forces out-of-state sellers with more than $100,000 in sales into the state or more than 200 transactions to collect sales taxes. The language mimics the South Dakota law which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The legislation also mandates that marketplace operators collect sales taxes on transactions that occur through third-party sellers on their platform, regardless of the amount or value of transactions.


Sugar Tax

California — The legislature passed a bill that prohibits municipalities from imposing new taxes on groceries through 2030. The language does not overturn existing sugary beverage taxes in Albany, Berkeley, San Francisco and Oakland but prevents new or pending efforts across the state. The governor’s office has indicated support for the proposal.


Data Privacy

California — A bill was signed into law by the governor that would offer a pathway forward on data privacy issues and potentially avoid a costly and problematic voter initiative that was slated for the Nov. ballot. The bill guarantees consumers the right to know what personal data has been collected by any company. It would also allow them to opt-out of future collection and hold companies directly liable in the event of a data breach. In a nod to some business concerns, the bill would allow the attorney general to levy fines for data breaches, only after which consumers could sue. The ballot measure exposed companies to litigation regardless of the state attorney general’s action. Privacy advocates have withdrawn the more onerous ballot initiative.


Key Takeaways

  • The passage of the California legislation addressing consumer data privacy is likely to have a significant impact on business operations across the country. While the law prevents the issue from going to the ballot (which would likely result in voters approving a much more onerous law), operators who collect certain personal information from consumers will need to update their processes and policies once the law goes into effect. The expectation is that companies will not establish California-specific data privacy policies but rather change their policies nationwide.
  • The bartender-turned-Socialist-Congressional-candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s stunning defeat of longtime Congressman Joe Crowley is being characterized as the political upset of the year. It reaffirms that the same anger and frustration that Donald Trump and others have tapped in Republican primaries is alive and well on the other side of the aisle for Bernie Sanders-like candidates to harness. Extreme ideologues’ continued success on either side of the partisan divide presents serious challenges for future bipartisan efforts to tackle pressing issues important to the employer community.


Legislature Status for Week of 7/2/18

  • The United States Senate is in recess this week
  • The United States House is in recess this week
  • Four state legislatures are meeting actively this week: California, Maine, North Carolina and New Jersey.



Check out our Working Lunch podcast each week that includes further analysis into these legislative issues, policy, politics and much more. You can find Working Lunch on the Nation’s Restaurant News website, or by clicking here, and when you download the podcast and subscribe on iTunes here.


The Regulatory Wrap-Up is presented by Align Public Strategies. Click here to learn how Align can provide your brand with the counsel and insight you need to navigate the policy and political issues impacting retail.



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NRF at odds with California privacy law

National Retail Federation says customer service could be severely hampered when measure takes effect in 2020.

BY Marianne Wilson

California has passed the nation’s toughest data privacy law — and a leading retail association is not happy with it.

The National Retail Federation called the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown into law, “deeply flawed” and said customer service could be severely hampered if the legislature fails to address retailers’ concerns before the measure takes effect in 2020.

“This law is objectionable on many levels,” said David French, NRF senior VP for government relations. “This is a deeply flawed measure aimed more at lining the pockets of attorneys than protecting consumers. It will expose businesses to unwarranted lawsuits while potentially taking away many of the innovations and special services consumers have come to expect.”

The law, which follows the recent rollout of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), gives consumers more control over and insight into the spread of their personal information online, putting into place major regulations on the data-collection practices of U.S. technology companies. Upon request, companies will be required to tell customers what personal data they’ve collected, why it was collected and what categories of third parties have received it. It also makes it easier for consumers to sue companies after a data breach.

Calling data the “the backbone of any good retail business,” French said that “knowing how often your customers shop, what brands and styles they prefer and how much they can afford to spend helps you serve their needs.

“Whether it’s a preview sale on new offerings, letting them know you have their size back in stock or loyalty programs that offer discounts, these are all services that shoppers value,” he added. “Under this law, those services could go away, and California’s consumers will want to know who’s to blame.”

NRF was among 29 state and national business groups that sent a letter to members of the California Assembly and Senate calling the legislation “a serious threat to the California economy.”

“The business community has been and remains interested in and dedicated to crafting reasonable privacy legislation,” the letter said. “We strongly urge the legislature to consider the numerous problems presented by this bill and to fix them as we move forward.”

The California Consumer Privacy Act was passed as an alternative to a ballot initiative that had been certified for November’s elections. The ballot initiative would have become law immediately after Election Day, but the legislation does not take effect until January 1, 2020, giving opponents time to seek changes in the legislature.

Among other provisions, the law would allow private citizens to sue retailers in addition to allowing enforcement by state authorities, a move the letter called a “giveaway to trial lawyers” that “exposes California businesses to massive additional liability without providing any corresponding benefit to consumers, according to the NRF.

The law prohibits retailers from treating customers who opt out of data sharing any differently from those who do not, a provision that could put an end to retail loyalty programs that offer discounts to members. Consumers could also demand that their information be erased, and retailers are concerned by other provisions involving data breach requirements, definitions of personal information, transparency and consumer access to data.


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Do you expect the number of billion-dollar natural disasters to increase or decrease in 2019?