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State Labor Laws, 2003 - page 5 / 27





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Inmate labor. A Correctional Industries Pro- gram Act of 2003 was adopted. This Act allows the administrative costs of the Cor- rectional Industries Program, including em- ployee salaries and benefits, to be paid from product revenues obtained from the correc- tional industries fund rather than the General Fund.

Other laws. The Governor, through the issu- ance of an administrative order, may autho- rize State employees who are members of a reserve or auxiliary component of the armed forces of the United States—including the organized militia of Alaska, consisting of the Alaska National Guard, theAlaska Naval Mi- litia, and the Alaska State Defense Force— and who are called to active duty by the ap- propriate State or Federal authority to con- tinue to receive the equivalent of their State compensation and some or all of their State benefits. Benefits include credited service in a State retirement system, membership in the supplemental employee benefits system, and group life and health insurance provided un- der State law or under a collective bargaining agreement.


Equal employment opportunity. The Gover- nor issued an Executive order directing that no State agency, board or commission is to discriminate in employment solely on the basis of an individual’s sexual orientation, and providing that notice is to be given to all State employees that acts of sexual harassment or other harassment based on sexual orientation will be a cause for discipline, up to and in- cluding termination of employment with the State. No State agency will be required to establish employment goals based on sexual orientation.

Other laws. A resolution was adopted urging the U.S. Congress to enact legislation that would establish a legal worker program for immigrants who enter the United States through ports of entry, including regulations that require employers to pay minimum wages to these workers; that require the workers to pay payroll taxes; that protect the workers from exploitation; and that al- low the workers to be eligible for employer- offered health insurance.


Wages. The minimum wage law was amended to exempt from coverage nonprofit child wel- fare agency employees who serve as houseparents who are directly involved in caring for children residing in residential fa-

cilities of the nonprofit welfare agency, and who are orphans, in foster care, abused, ne- glected, abandoned, homeless, in need of su- pervision, or otherwise in crisis situations that lead to out-of-home placements; and who are compensated at an annual rate of not less than $13,000, or at an annual rate of not less than $10,000 if the employee resides in the residential facility and receives board and lodging at no cost.

Employers may now pay workers by electronic direct deposit into the employee’s account in addition to payment in currency or by check as before. The employee may opt out of electronic direct deposit by pro- viding the employer a written statement re- questing payment by check. An employee has a right to be paid in currency if the em- ployer has ever paid the employee with a check drawn on an account with insufficient funds.

Hours. The statute that had restricted work hours in saw and planning mills to 10 hours a day was repealed.

Child labor. The law making it unlawful for any wholesaler, retailer, or transporter of alco- holic beverages to allow any employee or any other person under 21 years of age to sell, transport or handle alcoholic beverages was amended to allow persons 19 years of age and older, with written consent of a parent or guard- ian, to serve and handle alcoholic beverages at on-premises consumption outlets where food service is a permit requirement.

Worker privacy. The law exempting the home addresses of non-elected State employ- ees, contained in employer records, from being considered public records under the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act was expanded to also apply to the home ad- dresses of non-elected municipal and county employees.

Employee leasing. The Arkansas Employee Leasing Act was repealed, and a comprehen- sive Arkansas Professional Employer Orga- nization Recognition and Licensing Act was enacted. “Professional employer organiza- tion” is defined as any person engaged in the business of providing the service of entering into a co-employment relationship in which at least a majority of the employees provid- ing services to a client or to a division or work unit of a client are covered employees and in which the arrangement is intended to be, or is, ongoing rather than temporary in nature—and employer responsibilities, in- cluding the right of direction and control of the employees, are shared by the professional

employer organization and the recipient. The license application is to include the name and address of the organization, a taxpayer or employer identification number, a statement of ownership, a statement of business expe- rience, and a financial statement. Workers’ compensation coverage is required.

Whistleblower. The scope of the State Whistle-Blower Act, which protects public employees from adverse action for report- ing, in good faith to an appropriate author- ity, the existence of waste of public funds, property, or manpower, or the violation of any State law, rule or regulation was ex- panded to also protect disclosures concern- ing waste of Federal funds, property, or manpower administered or controlled by a public employer.

Other laws. A law was enacted providing employment leave for State employees or public school employees to serve as bone marrow or organ donors. These employees are entitled to no more than seven days of leave to serve as a bone marrow donor and no more than thirty days of leave to serve as an organ donor in any calendar year. In order to receive the leave they must: 1) request the leave in writing; 2) provide the employing agency written verification by the physician who is to perform the transplant that the employee is to serve as a human organ or bone marrow donor; and 3) provide the em- ploying agency written verification by the physician performing the transplant that the employee did serve as a human organ or bone marrow donor. The State or public school employee may use the leave without loss or reduction in pay, leave, or credit for time of service. A State agency or public school may not penalize an employee for requesting or

obtaining this leave.

An archaic statute was repealed that had made it unlawful for the person in control of any establishment where three or more per- sons are employed, and where any of the employees are women, to permit in the work- place any influence, practices, or conditions calculated to injuriously affect the morals of the female employees.


Wages. Voters in the City of San Francisco approved an ordinance, effective January 1, 2004, that requires most employers to pay a minimum wage of $8.50 per hour for work performed within the city to those employ- ees who work two or more hours per week. The wage will be adjusted effective January 1st of each year based on increases in the

Monthly Labor Review

January 2004


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