Labor Committee Considers Wage-Related Changes
The Labor Committee this week heard testimony on SB 223, which makes two small reforms to state labor law.
For one, it would eliminate the need for new businesses to apply to the Labor Department for permission to pay wages on an every-other-week basis.
Currently, businesses must file for permission to pay employees on anything other than a weekly basis.
SB 223 would also allow businesses to suspend without pay salaried exempt employees who violate a workplace rule on harassment or violence. Currently, only an hourly employee can be suspended without pay for violation of this type of rule.
The committee also heard some problematic labor bills:
HB 5371 mandates that employers with 100,000 square feet of office space, whether in one location or collectively, have to provide all persons performing janitorial work for them a minimum of a 30-hour workweek.
Even if these janitorial services are from third-party vendors, businesses will still be stuck with the mandate. That’s because the janitors’ unions want it in order to force out part-time janitors from their jobs to make way for full-time union janitors.
Finally, HB 5378 would force businesses that accept economic development money or tax abatements from the state for construction to expand their footprint to pay the prevailing wage to the construction personnel.
This is the same requirement municipalities attempting to build public works projects have been complaining about for years–only applied to the private sector.
It is one more way lawmakers are inadvertently encouraging businesses to expand their businesses elsewhere.
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