What to Expect in State Labor Laws in 2019

By Adam Roberts, GovDocs Legislative Analyst

Published on Jan. 22, 2019

As 2019 kicks off, state legislatures around the nation are beginning their legislative sessions and setting priorities for the year. Coming off the tail of an important election, many legislators are heading back to their capitol buildings in hopes of enacting policies that are important to them and the constituents they talked to during the campaign season.

By the time January draws to a close, nearly all states will have begun their legislative sessions. The few exceptions, and their start dates are as follows:

  • Nevada: February 4
  • Oklahoma: February 4
  • Alabama: March 5
  • Florida: March 5
  • Louisiana: April 8

So far, state legislatures are not wasting any time diving into labor law. In the first two weeks of January alone, GovDocs has begun tracking 443 bills to amend various labor laws in 31 states. These bills cover a wide array of topics, including major subjects important to GovDocs:

  • Minimum wage: 15.1%
  • Employee leave: 9.3%
  • Employment discrimination: 8.6%
  • Equal pay: 4.3%
  • Harassment: 3.2%
  • Wage theft: 2.5%
  • Salary history ban: 2.3%
  • Paid sick leave: 1.8%
  • Scheduling: 1.1%

As you can see, minimum wage and employee leave are starting off 2019 as popular topics. GovDocs expects both to remain an important part of the national conversation in state legislatures throughout the year, but as we continue to track legislation, we will see whether these remain later in the year. All bills are still very early in their legislative lives, and a lot of work must take place before any of them become laws. Additionally, there is still plenty of time for new bills to be introduced.

The 2019 session will surely a busy one, and we at GovDocs will make every bill tracked and analyzed for its impact on your labor law compliance program. Check back with Labor Law News later in the year for an update on how legislation progresses.

This Labor Law News Blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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