NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

States Bingeing On Employment Laws

September 25, 2000

It's enough to make personnel officers across the land throw in the towel. States across the nation seem to be racing each other to see which can pass the most employment legislation. Since the laws almost always differ state-to-state, companies doing business nationwide are hard pressed to write policies which conform to the requirement of each locale.

  • In August alone, 16 new employment laws were implemented by the states.
  • Thirty-three states prohibit genetic discrimination for coverage of health insurance.
  • Fifteen states are considering providing paid family leave for new parents.
  • Twelve states provide unemployment insurance coverage for victims of domestic violence.

Tennessee, Hawaii and Minnesota have passed legislation forcing employers to provide space for mothers to breast-feed.

In the 1980s, Minnesota and Washington implemented comparable-worth laws which meant, for example, that if a fireman's job is deemed comparable to a librarian's, they have to be paid the same salary. While the laws only pertained to government employees, state lawmakers are now extending the concept to private firms. Last year, comparable worth legislation was introduced in 17 states -- with many of the bills applying to the private sector.

Source: Chandrani Ghosh, "Employers Beware," Forbes, October 2, 2000.


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