State Labor Laws, 2003
submit to a criminal background check, sub- mit to fingerprinting and provide personal descriptive information, all of which will be forwarded through the Central Criminal Records Exchange to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
As a condition of employment, any county having the county manager form of government must require any applicant who is offered or accepts employment at the county’s water treatment facility to submit to fingerprinting and to provide personal descriptive information to be forwarded along with the applicant’s fingerprints through the Central Criminal Records Ex- change to the Federal Bureau of Investiga- tion for the purpose of obtaining criminal history information. Such applicants will, if required by ordinance, pay the cost of fin- gerprinting or a criminal records check or both.
The section of the law relating to com- mercial driver’s licenses and hazardous ma- terials endorsements was amended to meet the requirements of the Federal U.S.A. Patriot Act of 2001. This act, in part, pro- hibits issuance by States of commercial driver’s licenses with hazardous materials en- dorsements unless the U.S. Secretary of Transportation certifies that the applicant poses no security risk.
for Seattle, or a successor index, for the pre- vious biennium as calculated by the United States Department of Labor. Adjusted dol- lar amounts of indebtedness will be rounded to the nearest $500 increment.
Among provisions relating to the prevail- ing wage law, all intent and affidavit fees paid by contractors are now to be dedicated to the sole purpose of administering the pre- vailing wage program. The Department of Labor and Industries is to establish a goal of conducting surveys for each trade every 3 years; actively promote increased response rates from all survey recipients in every county both urban and rural; actively work with businesses, labor representatives, pub- lic agencies, and others to ensure the integ- rity of information used in the development of prevailing wage rates, and ensure uniform compliance with the law; maintain a timely processing of intents and affidavits, with a target processing time no greater than 7 work- ing days from receipt of completed forms; and develop and implement electronic pro- cessing of intents and affidavits and promote the efficient and effective use of technology to improve the services provided by the pre- vailing wage program. In establishing the prevailing wage rates, all data collected by the department may be used only in the county for which the work was performed.
Wages. The State minimum wage rate is ad- justed for inflation annually in September by a calculation using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-U) for the previous year. As a result, the rate for employees older than age 18 in- creased from $6.90 per hour to $7.01 on January 1, 2003, and to $7.16 on January 1, 2004. Also receiving these rates are 16 and 17-year-olds, the result of an administrative rule requiring that they earn the same mini- mum wage as adults; 14 and 15-year-olds may be paid 85 percent of the adult mini- mum wage.
The law relating to an employer’s indebt- edness to a deceased person for unpaid wages, labor, or services performed was amended to provide that if the decedent’s employer is the State of Washington, then the amount of the indebtedness that can be paid under the law will not exceed $10,000. At the beginning of each biennium, the direc- tor of financial management may, by admin- istrative policy, adjust the amount of indebt- edness that can be paid to levels not to ex- ceed the percentage increase in the consumer price index for all urban consumers, CPI-U,
Hours. An amendment to the labor law specifies that rules adopted regarding appro- priate rest and meal periods as applied to employees in the construction trades may be superseded by a collective bargaining agreement covering such employees if the terms of the agreement specifically require rest and meal periods and prescribe require- ments concerning them.
Agriculture. The Department of Labor and Industries and stakeholders representing ag- ricultural employers and employees were to report to the House Commerce and Labor Committee and the SenateAgricultural Com- mittee by September 1, 2003, and by De- cember 1, 2003, on the status of the rule development and implementation process for cholinesterase medical monitoring of farm workers who handle cholinesterase-inhibit- ing pesticides.
Hours. A new section was added to the code regulating motor carriers of passengers and property for hire, providing for the regula- tion of intrastate driving hours and duty hours of for-hire carriers that transport pas- sengers. Drivers of for-hire carriers may not
Monthly Labor Review
drive for more than 10 consecutive hours without 8 consecutive hours off duty; drive after the driver has on-duty time of 15 hours without 8 consecutive hours off duty; or drive after he or she has been on duty for a total of 70 consecutive hours within 8 con- secutive days. On-duty time is defined as all time from when a driver begins work or is required to be in readiness to work until the time he or she is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work.
Preference. Among amendments to the West Virginia Jobs Act, the 6-month resi- dency requirement was eliminated from the local labor market resident preference for work on public improvement projects, the threshold amount for construction project coverage was increased from $500,000 to $1 million, and law coverage was extended to include projects let by counties and municipalities.
Wages. On January 1, 2003, the threshold amount for coverage under the State pre- vailing wage laws for State and municipal contracts was changed administratively from $175,000 to $180,000 for contracts in which more than one trade is involved, and from $36,000 to $37,000 for contracts in which a single trade is involved. On Janu- ary 1, 2004, these amounts were changed administratively to $186,000 for contracts in which more than one trade is involved, and $38,000 for contracts in which a single trade is involved.
The Wage Payment and Collection law was amended to exclude from the definition of an “employee”, for purposes of coverage, any independent contractor, or a person employed in a managerial, executive, or com- missioned sales capacity or in a capacity in which the person is privy to confidential matters involving the employer/employee re- lationship. This law provides the authority to process wage claims and to collect unpaid wages due regarding minimum wage pay- ments, overtime premium pay, prevailing wages, and child labor penalties.
Family issues. A resolution was adopted encouraging breastfeeding and commend- ing employers, both in the public and the private sector, who make accommoda- tions for breastfeeding mothers whenever feasible.
Equal employment opportunity. The up- per limit of age 70 was removed from the