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January, 1985, Vol. 108, No. 1
State labor legislation
enacted in 1984
As is often the case in even numbered years, when some legislatures do not meet in regular session and others meet in only special or abbreviated sessions, 1984 was not a heavy year in terms of the number of new State labor laws.1 Despite this smaller volume, legislation was enacted in a wide variety of subject areas and included several significant new laws.2 Considerable interest was shown concerning the rights of employees to receive information and training on toxic substances found in the workplace, on garnishment and assignment of wages for dependent support payments, on resident employee and contractor preference on public construction, and on pay equity for jobs of comparable worth. Major laws were also enacted in the fields of child labor, mandatory retirement and age discrimination, whistleblower protection, private employment agencies, and minimum wage.
Minimum wage rates were increased in seven jurisdictions in 1984, with increases in Arkansas, Colorado, and Illinois and for some workers in the District of Columbia resulting from automatic increases provided for by previous enactments. Revised mandatory decrees in Puerto Rico raised minimum rates to varying levels for workers in several industries, and a wage order revision in the District of Columbia raised the minimum wage rate for private household workers from $3.50 to $3.90 per hour. New legislation increased minimum hourly rates to $3.25 in Georgia and provided for three annual 10-cent increases in Maine, the first increase to $3.45 effective January 1, 1985. The $3.35 per hour Federal standard is now exceeded in Alaska, the District of Columbia, Connecticut, and Maine, and 19 other jurisdictions match or will soon match the Federal rate for some or all occupations.
This excerpt is from an article published in the January 1985 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 The legislatures did not meet in Arkansas, New Hampshire, or North Dakota. Special sessions were held in Nevada and Oregon, but no significant legislation was enacted in the fields covered by this article. Information on Guam had not been received in time to include in this article, which is based on information received by November 9, 1984.
2 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.
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