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Labor & HR Committee Update
June 27, 2012

Staff Contact: Frank Kerbein

End of Session HR Legislative Summary

The 2012 Legislative session ended on Thursday, June 21, 2012. Here is the status of HR related legislation at that time.

The Business Council supported the following bills:

Wage Theft Prevention Act reform. S.6063-A (Defrancisco)/A.8856 (Gabryszak). This legislation, which has already passed the Senate, would repeal the mandate that all employees receive and provide a signed acknowledgement of an additional annual wage notice.

Unemployment insurance wage base bill. S.6850 (Ritchie)/A.9725 (Morelle). Eliminates UI account charges against an employer who released an employee for cause, in instances where the employee obtains and is laid off by a subsequent employer, and excludes from calculation of UI benefits those wages earned from an employer from whom the claimant lost employment under conditions that would disqualify him or her from UI benefits.

Allow Paycheck Payment cards. S.6288-A (Robach)/A.6894-A (Wright). This bill allows for payment of wages with payroll cards (i.e., debit cards), in addition to checks and direct deposit. It also establishes provisions for issuance and use of payroll cards, including making the use of payroll cards at the discretion of the individual employees, and requirements of at least one free cash withdrawal per pay period.

Wage withholding legislation. A.10785 (Morelle)/S.7790 (Young) This legislation would authorize additional categories of allowable, voluntary wage withholdings by employers and impose additional administrative requirements.

The Business Council opposed the following bills:

Minimum wage. S.6413 (Klein)/A.9148 (Wright). Would increase the minimum wage to $8.50/hour and index future annual increases to the CPI.

DOL Collections for Sole Proprietor contracts. S.4129-C (Golden)/A.6698-B (Silver). Would direct the Department of Labor to intercede on behalf of sole proprietor/independent contractor, for failure to receive prompt payment from a client, regardless of compliance with other provisions of their contract; establishes presumptions in favor of sole proprietors in such actions; and authorizes total recovery and penalties of up to four times the disputed payment plus legal costs.

Disclosure of Employee Personal Account Credentials. S.6831 (Klein)/A.9654 (Dinowitz). This would prohibit an employer from requesting that an employee or applicant disclose any passwords to electronic social media accounts or services, including those provided by the employer.

Prohibit employer’s use of credit history in employment decisions. A8070-B (Stevenson)/S4905-A (Klein).