Category Archives: Legislative News

Paid Family Leave

Below are summaries and status reports (as of Feb. 21, 2017) of the paid family leave bills that we have been closely following.

HB 1116 – Family and Medical Leave Insurance: The state passed a paid family leave insurance program in 2007 but never funded the program. This bill would increase the benefits offered under the program and provide funding. It would create a 26-week benefit for care of others and an additional 12 weeks for an employee’s own medical conditions. The insurance would provide up to 90 percent of the state’s average weekly wage, and costs would be split between employers and employees. The bill passed the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee and is scheduled for executive action in the House Appropriations Committee.

SB 5829 – Addressing Paid Family Leave: Because paid family leave is considered to be necessary to implement the budget, discussions on the topic could continue for the duration of session. This bill is a title-only bill that can be used as a vehicle to put possible compromise language onto. The bill passed the Senate Commerce, Labor & Sports Committee. The bill was referred to Senate Ways & Means.

Wage Violations

Below are summaries and status reports (as of Feb. 21, 2017) of some wage and hour bills about which we have concerns.

HB 1300 – Employee Misclassification: This labor-backed bill would make it harder to be classified as an independent contractor. The bill passed the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee and is scheduled for executive action in the Appropriations Committee. WSDF is opposed to this bill.

HB 1301 – Employee Antiretaliation: This perennial favorite of worker advocates continues to have the same problems as previous versions – namely that employers are presumed guilty of employee retaliation in certain circumstances until the employers prove their innocence. The bill passed the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee and has received a hearing in the Appropriations Committee. At this point, it has not been scheduled for executive action. WSDF is opposed to this bill.

HB 1302 – Damages for Wage Violations: This bill would increase the penalty for not paying employees correctly. The bill is currently in House Rules awaiting possible floor action. WSDF opposes this bill, as current law is sufficient.

HB 1486 – Wage Recovery Act: This bill creates a statutory wage lien for claims on unpaid wages and creates procedures for establishing, foreclosing, extinguishing, and prioritizing wage liens. The bill passed the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee and has received a hearing in the Appropriations Committee. At this point, it has not been scheduled for executive action. WSDF is opposed to this bill.

Workers’ Compensation

Below is a summary and status report (as of Feb. 21, 2017) of the workers’ compensation reform bill we have been working on.

SB 5822 – Workers’ Comp Reform: This bill would lower the age barriers for workers to approve claim settlement agreements and would clarify the definition of occupational disease. The bill passed the Senate Commerce, Labor & Sports Committee and is now in Senate Rules awaiting possible floor action. WSDF supports this reform bill.