Related BLS programs | Related articles State labor laws: changes during 1987
January, 1988, Vol. 111, No. 4
Related BLS programs | Related articles
State labor laws: changes during 1987Richard R. Nelson
A greater volume of State labor legislation was enacted in 1987 than in any of the past several years.1 Laws of major significance were enacted in several employment standards subject areas, including the traditional fields of minimum wage protection and bans on employment discrimination, as well as in newer emerging areas of parental leave, employee drug testing, asbestos abatement, plant closings, and restrictions on workplace smoking. First time legislation was also enacted prohibiting the wrongful discharge of employees.
There was considerable minimum wage activity in 1987 with hourly minimum wage rates increased through new legislation or administrative action for all employers in nine States (Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, Texas, and Wisconsin) and for certain occupations in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Also, rates rose in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont as the result of increases provided by previous enactments. In addition, a proposal to increase the California rate is under consideration.
In Hawaii and Minnesota, the 1987 legislation increased the rates above the $3.35 per hour Federal standard (in effect since 1981). The Federal rate is now exceeded in 10 jurisdictions (Alaska, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont). Bills to further increase the rate in Maine and to raise the Wisconsin rate above the Federal level passed the legislatures but were vetoed. North Carolina provided for matching increases up to $4 an hour in the State minimum if the Federal rate is increased before June 1, 1989. As of January 1, 1988, 24 jurisdictions had minimum wage rates at or near $3.35 per hour for some or all occupations. Rates are significantly lower than $3.35 in 11 States, and nine States do not have minimum wage laws.
This excerpt is from an article published in the January 1988 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 Unemployment insurance and workers' compensation are not within the scope of this article, which is based on information received by November 5, 1987. Separate articles on each of these subjects are also published in the Monthly Labor Review.
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