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Alabama Enacts Pay Equity Law

On June 10, 2019, Alabama enacted the state’s first wage equity law. The Clarke-Figures Equal Pay Act (CFEPA) mimics, in large portion, the federal Equal Pay Act (EPA), but includes race as a protected classification in addition to sex. The CFEPA also prohibits retaliation based on an applicants’ failure or refusal to provide their wage history and sets forth employer recordkeeping requirements. Employers of any size are subject to the act. There is no small employer exception. The CFEPA takes effect September 1, 2019.

Alabama Becomes Latest State To Restrict Salary History Inquiries

On June 11, 2019, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed a new law that prohibits wage discrimination based upon sex and protects workers who decline to share their salary history with a prospective employer. The new law takes effect August 1, 2019. Unlike laws in some other states, the Alabama law does not bar employers from asking for salary history information, but prohibits employers from refusing to interview or hire applicants who decline to provide such information.

Alabama Legislature Approves Equal Pay Law; Law Awaits Governor Signature

Yesterday, Alabama’s Governor, Kay Ivey, signed a new law that would prohibit employers from paying less for the same work on the basis of gender or race. After both the House and the Senate approved the bill, it was sent back with an executive amendment from Governor Ivey on May 30, 2019. Upon approval of that amendment by the Alabama House and Senate, the law just received the necessary executive signature for enactment. With the passage of this law, titled the Clarke-Figures Equal Pay Act, only Mississippi remains without any state equal pay legislation in place.

Alabama Governor Signs Pay Equity Legislation

On June 11, 2019, Governor Kay Ivey signed Alabama House Bill 225, making Alabama the 49th state to adopt equal pay legislation.

Will Alabama Governor Sign Pay Equity Legislation?

Federal law already prohibits employers from paying an employee less than employees of another sex for equal work, unless the employer bases the wage difference on statutorily defined factors. Alabama and Mississippi were the only two states without corresponding state-specific laws until Representative Adline Clarke, D-Mobile, introduced Alabama House Bill 225 on March 19, 2019. The Alabama Senate voted unanimously to approve the bill, with amendments, and the Alabama House of Representatives unanimously passed the Clarke-Figures Equal Pay Act on May 30, 2019.

Alabama Seeks to Tie Unemployment Benefits to State Unemployment Rate

On May 21, 2019, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed Act 2019-204. This legislation, introduced initially in the Alabama Senate, links an employee’s maximum weekly unemployment benefits and their duration to the state’s unemployment rate.

What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been: Is Medical Marijuana Coming to Alabama?

On March 20, 2019, House Bill 243 (HB243) was introduced in the Alabama House of Representatives. HB243, a bipartisan bill with extensive support from both the majority and minority leaders, would create the Compassion, Access, Research, and Expansion Act (CARE Act) to legalize medical marijuana in Alabama for individuals with certain medical conditions.

Eleventh Circuit to Undertake Full-Court Review of Challenge to Alabama Law Prohibiting Local Minimum Wage Laws

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to undertake a full-court review to decide the validity of a 2015 Alabama law prohibiting cities or other local municipalities from adopting their own laws concerning minimum wages, leave benefits, collective bargaining and other employment-related issues. The law was enacted in response to an ordinance passed by the Birmingham City Council to increase the minimum wage for all employees within the City’s boundaries, from the current federal minimum of $7.25 to $10.10. While local jurisdictions in a number of states have enacted their own minimum wage ordinances in recent years, Alabama is one of nearly twenty states that have passed laws prohibiting such ordinances.

Race-Based Minimum Wage Challenge Gets New Life in 11th Circuit

Alabama's Minimum Wage and Right-to-Work Act, which mandated a uniform minimum wage throughout the state, may have racially discriminated against the City of Birmingham's black citizens, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled.

11th Circuit Revives Lawsuit Challenging Legality of Alabama’s Ban on Local Minimum Wage Ordinances

On July 25, 2018, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a Birmingham federal judge’s dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the February 2016 Alabama Uniform Minimum Wage and Right to Work Act (commonly known as “the Minimum Wage Act”). The Minimum Wage Act provided the Alabama state legislature with the authority to control the regulation of wages within the state of Alabama, including the establishment of a state minimum wage. The passage of the Minimum Wage Act occurred shortly after the City of Birmingham passed an ordinance providing for an increase in the minimum wage for workers in Birmingham (including employees of private employers who perform work within the Birmingham city limits).