The legislative session is going to start in just a couple of days. In order to help HEC members begin thinking about what they will likely see from our lawmakers over the next several months, I recently conducted a 90-minute webinar forecasting possible employment-related legislation for the upcoming legislative session.
To set the context for what types of bills we may see get introduced, heard and possibly passed, I first discussed the political context we are currently experiencing, including (1) a new Labor chair for the House of Representatives, (2) political influencers such as Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and the new chair of the Hawaii Democratic Party Tim Vandeveer. I also mentioned the possible trickle-down impact that having President-elect Trump take over the White House may have at the state level.
The possible legislation I then discussed included the following:
- Salary thresholds for exempt employees
- Paid sick and save leave
- Pay transparency and pay equity
- Minimum wage (and the “Fight for $15″)
- Hawaii Family Leave Law expansion
- Social Media privacy
- Increased regulation of construction industry
- Employment discrimination (Adams v. CDM Media case)
- Medical information privacy (PRO v. Queen’s case)
- Independent Contractors
- Incentives for hiring disabled individuals
- Small business preferences for state procurement
- Price caps on WC medication
- Increased HIOSH penalties
- Electronic notices for DLIR hearings
- Funding for DLIR positions
As the bills start to get introduced and hearings get underway, I’ll be busy tracking legislation on these topics (and likely others). As a non-election year, it will be interesting to see what kind of legislation has the most movement in 2017.