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State Labor Laws, 2003 - page 2 / 27





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State Labor Laws, 2003

The threshold amount for coverage was increased by leg- islation in Maine and administratively in Ohio and Wisconsin. Exemptions from coverage were enacted in Montana and Or- egon, while law coverage was expanded in California, Illinois, Nevada, and New Jersey.

The Montana law was amended to require that additional trades be included in the prevailing wage survey, and the Washington Department of Labor is to establish a goal of conducting surveys for each trade every 3 years.

Among other developments, primary contractors are to be identified in Alaska; new recordkeeping requirements were enacted in Illinois; penalties for violation of prevailing wage laws were increased in Nevada and revised in California; and the Maryland Advisory Council on Prevailing Wage Rates was abolished. Contractors in California may now bring court action to recover increased labor costs in certain circum- stances.

In Illinois, an Executive order requires State agencies to consider project labor agreements for public works projects. An Executive order issued in Michigan permits the debarment of a contractor who has violated any State or Federal law.

Among several changes to the Colorado wage payment law, the State and its agencies were exempted from coverage. Several classifications of employees were exempted from cov- erage of the Wisconsin law. Payment of wages by direct de- posit was authorized in Arkansas and Texas, and the North Dakota provision was amended. The Maryland Advisory Committee on the Wage and Hour Law was abolished.

Civil penalties for failure to pay wages increased in Califor- nia. The Nevada, Oklahoma, and Tennessee penalty provi- sions were revised.

Coverage of the wage payment law was expanded in Kan- sas. California enacted wage protections for workers in the car wash industry.

New payroll deductions were authorized in Maryland, North Carolina, and Texas. Payment into a trust account was approved in Virginia.

It was specified that the Nevada labor commissioner is to enforce all labor laws without regard to whether an employee is lawfully or unlawfully employed.

Hours. Despite several bills introduced on the subject, no new legislation was enacted this year regulating mandatory overtime. A committee established in Louisiana will assess the extent of registered nurse mandatory overtime use.

An Arkansas statute limiting work hours in saw and plan- ing mills was repealed, and changes were made in the West Virginia law regulating passenger motor carriers.

Certain exceptions were authorized from the meal period provision in California, and in the rest and meal period provi- sions in Washington.


Monthly Labor Review

January 2004

Family issues. In a continuing expansion of benefits and rights under family and medical leave laws, the Connecticut law was amended to require employers to permit employees the use of up to 2 weeks of sick leave to attend to a serious health condition of a family member, or for the birth or adop- tion of a child. In Hawaii, employees in the public sector will again be covered under the State Family and Medical Leave Act. Additionally, public sector employees are now entitled to at least 4 hours of paid leave per calendar year to attend parent-teacher conferences.

Illinois enacted a law requiring certain employers to pro- vide unpaid leave for an employee victim of domestic or sexual violence, or one who has a victimized family or household member. Oregon employers with six or more employees must provide leave to attend criminal proceedings for eligible em- ployees who have been crime victims or who have an immedi- ate family member who has been a crime victim. Asimilar law enacted in California also extends protection to registered domestic partners of victims. Texas will provide limited com- pensation to a family member of a deceased violent crime vic- tim to attend the funeral, or for lost compensation, resulting from bereavement leave.

Rhode Island employers may provide unpaid breaks for nursing mothers, while a Wyoming resolution encourages breastfeeding and commends employers who make accom- modations.

Health insurance. A California law requires that employees of large and medium-sized employers receive healthcare benefits.

Child labor. A trend continued with Minnesota exempting children working as referees, umpires, or officials from the minimum age requirement of the child labor law, while Virginia lowered the minimum age for referees from 13 to 12. Hours and night work changes were enacted in Hawaii, Louisiana, and New York, while Maine revised its hazardous occupation orders concerning confined spaces and heights. Hawaii also prohibited employment in the adult entertainment industry. Indiana now requires that minors be accompanied by an adult for work after 10 p.m. Civil penalty assessment procedures were revised in Tennessee.

Louisiana employers are no longer required to keep work permits on file. In addition, employment certificates are to be submitted electronically by school superintendents.

Laws providing for judicial approval of artistic contracts of minors and requiring that a percentage of earnings be set aside in trust were enacted in Nevada, New York, North Caro- lina, and Tennessee, and amended in California.

Industrial homework. California changed the procedures for the disposition of articles or materials unlawfully manufac-

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