Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

State Labor Legislation Enacted in 2012

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

State Labor Legislation Enacted in 2012

Article excerpt

Laws concerning child labor, equal employment opportunity, human trafficking, immigration legislation, independent contractors, and prevailing wages were among the most active areas for state lawmakers in 2012

The most active areas of state legislation in 2012 were child labor, equal employment opportunity, human trafficking, immigration legislation, independent contractors, wages paid, time off, unfair labor practices, and worker privacy. State legislative activity in these and more than 20 additional areas resulted in enactment of new legislation and amendments or revisions to existing statutes or regulations.

This report, which covers legislation enacted, revised, or amended January 1-December 31, 2012, consists of a brief introduction and a table in which the bill and executive order numbers serve as links to the legislation. The table lists the bill numbers of each piece of enacted legislation organized according to the labor legislation categories that are tracked by the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the U.S. Department of Labor. Each bill number is positioned in the table cell whose row corresponds to the state where the bill was enacted and whose column corresponds to the individual category of legislation. The last cell for each category shows two totals: the first represents the number of states that enacted legislation in that category and the second represents the number of enacted bills. General information about a particular state and its legislation enacted in the past year is available at http://www.govspot.com/site/about.htm.

Throughout 2012, 46 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia met in regular legislative session during the year. The other four states--Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, and Texas--met in special sessions to address various issues of particular interest or immediate necessity. During the timeframe covered by this report, 45 states and the District of Columbia enacted new legislation and/or amended current state labor law or regulations of consequence in the various categories tracked by the WHD.

The 191 bills that were introduced and then enacted by the states and the District of Columbia encompassed 28 of the 34 legislative categories tracked by the WHD and included a number of important measures. These 28 categories are agriculture, child labor, state departments of labor, discharge of employees, drug and alcohol testing, employment agency, equal employment opportunity, hours of work, human trafficking, immigration legislation, independent contractors (more specifically, employees misclassified as independent contractors), inmate labor, living wage (statewide), minimum wage and tipped employees, offsite work, "other" or "miscellaneous" legislation, overtime, plant closing and the displacement or replacement of workers, preference of employers regarding employees, prevailing wage, right to work, time off from work, unfair labor practices, wages paid, whistleblowers, worker privacy, workers with disabilities, and workplace security. The six categories in which no enacted legislation was reported are employee leasing, family leave issues, garment activity, genetic testing for employment purposes, overtime worked in the health care industry, and workplace violence. Not every piece of labor legislation enacted in the past year falls into one of the 34 tracked categories. Among the legislative issues that are excluded from the report are those which (1) amend existing state law but whose changes are strictly technical in nature, (2) affect only a limited number of individuals, (3) require the undertaking or the distribution of an issue study for a legislature or a governor, or (4) deal with operational or funding concerns related to a specific issue.

John J. Fitzpatrick, Jr., is the State Standards Team Leader and the anti-human trafficking coordinator in the Division of Communications, Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor; James L. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.