Equal Pay, Minimum Wage Bills Die in House Committee

Date: June 14, 2016 Last Edit: June 15, 2016

Gov. Edwards’ labor agenda is struggling in the Legislature.

Equal Pay, Minimum Wage Bills Die in House Committee

Four bills came before the
House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee in its final meeting of the
regular legislative session, and all were rejected. Here’s a look at the
measures that didn’t advance.

Back Wages

 Senate Bill 441 would have
amended a section of state law dealing with the minimum wage, specifying that
employers must pay back wages for days worked. The bill also would have added a
good-faith defense for employers who didn’t know they were paying employees
improperly. However, NFIB/Louisiana State Director Dawn Starns warned that, if
approved, the bill could easily be amended on the House floor to include a
minimum wage increase.

 Equal Pay

The committee also killed
three bills dealing with equal pay legislation. House Bill 928 would have
extended equal pay requirements for state employers to private sector
employers. Another bill would have applied the Louisiana Equal Pay for Women
Act to employees of companies that perform state contract work. The third,
House Bill 387, would have recreated a commission to study equal pay. NFIB/LA
has spoken out in opposition to proposed equal pay legislation because of the
additional administrative burden, unnecessary requirements, and increased
threat of lawsuits the measure would put on small business owners.

 Meanwhile, Senate Bill 254,
the equal pay bill supported by Gov. John Bel Edwards, recently failed to pass
the House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee and the minimum wage bill
proposing a hike from $7.25 per hour to $8.50 by 2018 remains stalled in the
Senate.

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