Catherine Nolan, Chair
March 24, 2001
MINIMUM WAGE INCREASE PASSES THE ASSEMBLY
Increase In Hourly Rate From $5.15 To $6.75
A bill to raise New York's minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $6.75 per
hour was passed by the Assembly by a vote of 126-20. The bill now goes to the
Senate where it awaits action.
The bill, A.5132, sponsored by Assemblywoman
Catherine Nolan and co-sponsored by thirty-two Members of the Assembly, would
increase the state minimum wage on January 1, 2002. In addition, after 2003
the minimum wage would increase annually based on the Consumer Price Index
increases as determined by the United States Department of Labor. If the
minimum wage had kept up with inflation since the 1960's, it would be closer
to $7.30 per hour.
"The minimum wage has not kept up with inflation, so in terms of buying
power it is at its lowest level in many years," said Assemblywoman Nolan.
"A significant number of family breadwinners rely on minimum wage jobs to
support their families, so an increase will result in an improved standard of
living for many households all across the state."
"The state minimum rate of $5.15 per hour was increased in December 1999
after ten years at $4.25. This was done to reflect the federal rate. Other
states, such as Connecticut, Vermont, Oregon and Washington State have
increased their minimum rate to a rate higher than $5.15 per hour.
Massachusetts recently raised its rate to $6.75 per hour," said Nolan.
ASSEMBLY ACTS TO PROTECT HEALTH CARE WHISTLEBLOWERS
Re-Passes Bill Pocket Vetoed by Governor Last Year
The Assembly has once again unanimously passed the Health Care
Whistleblower Protection Act. This same bill passed both the Assembly and the
Senate unanimously last year, but the Governor failed to sign the legislation.
The bill, A.3259, sponsored by Assemblywoman
Catherine Nolan, would protect workers in public and private hospitals, clinics
and nursing homes from the threat of losing their jobs if they report illegal
or unsafe practices that jeopardize patient care.
"New Yorkers rely on their health-care professionals to be qualified and
conscientious," said Assemblywoman Nolan. "At a time when the health-care
system is facing critical staffing shortages and mounting pressure to cut costs,
workers need protection from retaliation if they report improper or deficient
The bill now goes to the Senate for action.
ASSEMBLY LABOR COMMITTEE REPORTS IMPORTANT LEGISLATION
The Assembly Labor Committee met today and reported the following legislation.
If you have any questions about these or other labor bills, please call Geri
Reilly, Committee Counsel and Labor Liaison at (518) 455-4851.
- A. 5275 (Nolan) - This bill would permit farm laborers to join
unions, to organize and to bargain collectively. REPORTED to the
- A. 3306 (Hooper) - This bill would permit members of the Workers'
Compensation Board to perform teaching duties at colleges or
universities when such duties do not interfere with their Board duties.
REPORTED to the floor
- A. 3219A (McEneny) - This bill would allow school boards to take
factors such as the use of child labor into consideration in school
purchase contracts. REPORTED to Ways & Means
- A. 528 (Brodsky) - This bill would establish a whistleblower
program for those working in nuclear power plants. REPORTED to Codes
- A. 4940 (Nolan, Hooper, Boyland, Eddington, Millman) - This bill
would clarify the labor law to ensure that tips, gratuities and service
charges intended for the wait-staff would actually go to them. REPORTED
- A. 222 (Tokasz, Nolan) - This bill would create a new definition for
those qualifying as the "lowest responsible bidder" for purposes of the
award of state contracts. It would include a determination regarding
past compliance with state and federal labor laws, environmental laws or
a criminal conviction of any state or federal law for any conduct
relating to bidding or construction related work by the bidder.
REPORTED to Codes
- A. 2612 (Nolan) - This bill, patterned after California law, would
enable workers to reveal their wages to each other without fear of
reprisal. Its purpose is to ensure that workers concerned about wage
discrimination can gather the information needed to pursue their claims.
REPORTED to Codes
- A. 2388 (Cahill) - This bill makes certain technical changes to
Chapter 559 of the laws of 2000, relating to the care and treatment of
emergency workers exposed to various pathogens in the course of their
duties. REPORTED to Ways & Means
- A. 3362 (D'Andrea) - This bill would impose an unreasonable burden
on the Department of Labor by requiring that all correspondence be by
registered mail, return receipt requested. HELD in Committee