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January 1983, Vol. 106, No. 1
State labor legislation
enacted in 1982
Richard R. Nelson
As is common in even numbered years, 1982 was a light year in terms of State labor legislation, with some legislatures not meeting in regular session or chiefly for budget matters.1 Despite the smaller volume of new legislation, a few significant laws were enacted in each of several subject areas.2 In addition to traditional areas of concern such as minimum wage, wage garnishment, and child labor legislation, continued interest was shown in the concept of equal pay for jobs of comparable worth and in the prohibition of sexual harassment in the workplace. Perhaps as a result of the economic recession, a few States passed legislation addressing the impact of plant closings or relocations on employees and the community, and others established special programs to provide employment opportunities for persons in economically depressed areas, designated as enterprise zones.3
Although minimum wage rate increases were less common this year than in the recent past, rates were increased in 10 jurisdictions in 1982, with seven of these increases resulting from automatic increases provided for by previous enactments. A new wage order in the District of Columbia, applicable to employees of the retail trade industry, raised the minimum wage rate to $3.50 an hour and increased the rate for youth under age 18 to $3.35 an hour. New legislation increased hourly rate to $2.60 in Kentucky and to $2.80 in South Dakota. South Dakota also raised the tip credit allowance from 25 to 30 percent of their required minimum wage. Twenty-one jurisdictions now have a minimum rate for some or all occupations equal to or exceeding the $3.35-per-hour Federal standard.
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1 The legislatures did not meet in Arkansas, Nevada, and North Dakota in 1982. Sessions were held in North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee. Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming, but no significant legislation was enacted in the fields covered by this article. Information on Guam and the Virgin Islands had been received by press time.
2 Based on information received by Nov. 5, 1982.
3 Unemployment insurance and workers compensation are not within the scope of this article on each of these subjects are included in this issue of the Review.
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