Arkansas bill would exempt felons, people with disabilities from Minimum Wage Act

The amendment would exempt people under 18, people convicted of a felony or people with a developmental disability from the minimum wage increase.

An Arkansas legislator has proposed an amendment to a bill that would add exceptions to Arkansas’s minimum wage requirements.

Senate Bill 115 would exempt employers from paying minimum wage to people under 18, people convicted of a felony or people with a developmental disability.

It comes after Arkansas voters passed a minimum wage increase in November 2018 with 68% approval. By 2021, the minimum wage will be $11 per hour in Arkansas. The increase started in 2019 when it was upped to $9.25.

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If passed through the legislature, the bill would also exempt non-profits and businesses with fewer than 25 employees from paying state minimum wage.

“What the goal is in this legislation is to provide a bit of a bridge, a transition into it,” Ballinger said. “To provide some relief for the small businesses, to provide some relief for ministries, non-profits so they don’t have to lay people off, so they don’t have to shut down.”

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