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January, 1987, Vol. 110, No. 1
State labor legislation
enacted in 1986
Many significant laws covering a wide variety of employment standards subjects were enacted in 1986, despite the fact that some legislatures did not meet in regular session and others met only in special or abbreviated sessions.1 Laws were enacted in many traditional labor fields, including minimum wage protection, collection of unpaid wages, child labor, collective bargaining, and employment discrimination.2 Important legislation was also adopted involving whistleblower protection, prohibitions on the employment of illegal aliens, asbestos abatement, and on the emerging issues of regulation of workplace smoking and on testing employees for drugs and AIDS.
New legislation in 1986 increased hourly minimum wage rates above the $3.35 per hour Federal standard (which became effective in 1981) in three New England StatesMassachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. In addition, the District of Columbia raised the minimum hourly wage of beauty culture occupations from $3.75 to $4.50 and the rate applicable to building service occupations from $3.70 to $4.75; Puerto Rico raised minimum rates to varying levels in three industries; and the minimum rate was increased to $3.35 an hour in Kentucky and West Virginia. Wage rates were raised in Maine, Montana, and Vermont as the result of increases provided for by previous enactments.
As of January 1, 1987, 19 jurisdictions had minimum wage rates equal to the Federal standard for some or all occupations, and 8 jurisdictions (Alaska, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) exceeded this level.
This excerpt is from an article published in the January 1987 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 Nevada, North Dakota, or Oregon. Sessions were held in Arkansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, Texas, and Wyoming, but no significant legislation was enacted in the fields covered by this article. Information on Guam and the Virgin Islands had not been received in time to include in this article, which is based on information received by November 7, 1986.
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