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January 1984, Vol. 107, No. 1
State labor legislation
enacted in 1983
State labor legislation enacted in 1983 covered a wide variety of subjects and included several significant new laws.1 A growing interest was evident in newer areas of concern such as equal pay for jobs of comparable worth, the impact on employees of plant closings or relocations, and requirements that employees be informed of and given training on toxic substances found in the workplace. Major laws were also passed in some of the more traditional labor standards fields, including minimum wage, employment discrimination, public employee collective bargaining, job training, and restrictions on the use of polygraph examinations.
Eight States enacted legislation this year providing for minimum wage-rate increases effective in 1983 or 1984, and in addition, rates were raised in two States as the result of automatic increases provided for by previous enactments. Across-the-board increases were adopted in Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, and Oklahoma. Rates were increased in New York for farmworkers, eliminating the previous wage differential for this group, in New Mexico for tipped employees, and in the District of Columbia for employees covered by wage orders for clerical and semi-technical and for laundry and drycleaning occupations. Twenty-two jurisdictions now have a minimum rate for some or all occupations equal to or exceeding the $3.35 per hour Federal standard, and Illinois will reach 3.35 in July 1985.
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1 Unemployment insurance and workers' compensation are not within the scope of this article. Separate articles on each of these subjects are included in this issue of the Monthly Labor Review. Kentucky was the only State in which the legislature did not meet in 1983. Sessions were held in Arizona and the Virgin Islands. but no significant legislation was enacted in the fields covered by this article. Information on Puerto Rico was not received in time to include in this article, which is based on information received by November 10, 1983.
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