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Wage Assignment Bill Passes Committee; Chamber Working to Improve Voluntary Paid Leave Bill

2019-02-01T13:34:51+00:00February 1st, 2019|

Senate Bill 99 – Wage Assignments for Clothing and Tools
Authored by Sen. Phi Boots (Crawfordsville)

Provides that a wage assignment for the purchase, rental or use of uniforms, shirts, pants and other job-related clothing may not be an amount that exceeds the direct cost paid by the employer to an external vendor for those items. Provides that a wage assignment may be made for the rental of uniform shirts, pants and job-related clothing. Provides that a wage assignment may be made for the purchase of equipment or tools necessary to fulfill the duties of employment. Provides that a wage assignment for the purchase of equipment or tools may not be an amount that exceeds the direct cost paid by the employer to an external vendor for those items. Provides that an employee shall not be charged or subject to a wage assignment for personal protective equipment except for those instances provided under federal rules. Provides that the total amount of wages subject to assignment for the purchase of uniforms and equipment or rental of uniform shirts, pants and job-related clothing may not exceed certain amounts.

Chamber Position: Support

The Latest: Amended and passed by the Senate Pensions and Labor Committee unanimously 10-0 on Wednesday. The bill moves to the full Senate and should be on second reading early next week.

Chamber Action/Commentary: The Chamber supported the amendments (included in the above synopsis). As a reminder, this matter is important for both employers and employees in certain sectors like the service industries and manufacturing. Under this bill, at an employee’s request, the employer would pay the upfront purchase costs for job-required tools and the upfront rental fee for job-related clothing. Then the employee would have the costs deducted from their wages. This arrangement relieves a monetary burden for employees and assists employers in the hiring process.

With Senate Democrats voting for the bill in committee, the Chamber does not anticipate difficulty as the bill moves through the process.

Senate Bill 496 – Voluntary Family Leave Insurance Program
Authored by Sen Karen Tallian (D-Portage)
Co-Authored by John Ruckelshaus (R-Indianapolis)

This bill establishes a voluntary family leave insurance program via the Department of Insurance that would provide benefits for employees in the program. Full details.

Chamber Position: Oppose in part at this time.

The Latest: Testimony was taken on Wednesday in the Senate Pensions and Labor Committee, where the bill was held for possible amendments. This bill is likely to get a vote next week.

Chamber Action/Commentary: Our comments in testimony identified certain problems with the current bill language. It appears that the bill would be a mandate to administrate for employers that fall under the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) statute. It also appears that there may be an expansion of FMLA due to the way the bill is drafted. The Chamber is working with Sen. Tallian and she has indicated her intent was never to include a mandate. Furthermore, the Chamber has been assured that the bill will not move forward until our concerns have been addressed to where we will be neutral on the bill.

Resource: Mike Ripley at (317) 264-6883 or e-mail: mripley@indianachamber.com