State Labor Legislation Enacted in 1998

By Nelson, Richard R. | Monthly Labor Review, January 1999 | Go to article overview

State Labor Legislation Enacted in 1998

Nelson, Richard R., Monthly Labor Review

Increases in minimum wage rates, prevailing wage changes, child labor revisions, workplace surveillance regulations, and bans on employment discrimination were major subjects of State labor legislation

A number of major pieces of State labor legislation were adopted in 1998, despite an unusually light volume of enactments.(1) The greatest areas of concentration were in the traditional subjects of minimum wage protection, prevailing wage, and the regulation of child labor. Legislation also was enacted on the emerging issue of employee monitoring, and on other contemporary issues such as balancing work and family, granting immunity for disclosure of work performance information, and banning employment discrimination because of genetic test results. Some significant ballot measures and court decisions also have had an impact on employment standards.

This article provides a summary of significant enactments in labor legislation. It does not, however, cover occupational safety and health, employment and training, labor relations, employee background clearance, and economic development legislation. Articles on unemployment insurance and workers' compensation appear elsewhere in this issue of the Monthly Labor Review,

Wages. Minimum wage was an important area of State labor legislation and activity again this year, although not as active as in the past few years when it dominated State legislative activity. New legislation increased minimum wage rates in Connecticut, Indiana, and Kentucky.(2) Rates also increased in West Virginia, as the result of a previous law, and in California and Oregon, as the result of ballot measures approved in 1996.

A Washington ballot measure approved in the November general election increases the minimum wage rate in that State. As a result of this measure, beginning January 1,2001, Washington will be the first State in the Nation to have a rate that is annually adjusted for inflation.

As of January 1, 1999, minimum wage rates higher than the Federal standard are in effect in Alaska, California, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

Major changes were made in the way minimum wage rates will be established in Puerto Rico.

Indiana will now require the payment of overtime, while an overtime pay requirement was eliminated in Idaho. Laws were adopted in Hawaii and Washington specifying that airline industry employers are not required to pay overtime to employees who voluntarily trade shifts.

Thirty-one States and the Federal Government currently have public works prevailing wage laws. This year, prevailing wage bills were introduced in nearly half of the States. Reversing the trend of recent years to weaken these laws, most of those measures adopted in 1998 strengthened laws.

Maine will now require payment of prevailing benefits as well as prevailing wages. Coverage of the Maine law was also expanded to include projects let by the Turnpike Authority. Delaware passed laws pertaining to the maintenance of payroll information, and excusing the Department of Labor from court costs for certain prevailing wage cases. The Department was also authorized to join claimants in one action when filing suit.

In New York, underpayments may now be recovered from successors, subsidiaries, principals, and others related to public works building service contractors who have violated the prevailing wage law. Employers in Hawaii may be penalized if they fail to timely submit records and information or if they interfere with or delay an investigation. Penalty provisions were strengthened in Massachusetts.

The Kentucky law regulating the awarding of public contracts by the State was amended to add requirements for subcontractors to those already in place for contractors. California revised provisions providing for debarment of contractors and subcontractors from work on public works contracts following violations of the prevailing wage law.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)


1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited article

State Labor Legislation Enacted in 1998


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25,

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.