Arkansas Legislature Approves Changes to Wage Statutes

April 16, 2019


By Michael S. Moore

On April 5, 2019, the Arkansas Senate voted to give final approval to HB1751.  This bill awaits signature of the Governor, but that signature is expected to occur any day.

HB1751 makes several significant changes to the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act and other payment of wages statutes.  The most significant changes are:

  • It established a two-year statute of limitations for actions under the Arkansas Minimum Wage Act;
  • It establishes that liquidated damages are only available to a plaintiff upon a finding of willfulness;
  • It provides a very streamlined approach to the payment of wages upon discharge penalties and completely does away with the outdated procedure and penalties of previous law. 

Most importantly, HB 1751 provides that employees may only become Plaintiffs in Arkansas Minimum Wage Act cases by filing a consent to join the lawsuit, just as is provided for under federal law.  Therefore, employers should not be faced with the double-edged sword of an opt-in collective action under federal law and an opt-out class action under state law.

Written by Attorney Michael S. Moore who is a partner in the firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group. He specializes in litigation of discrimination cases, wage-hour matters, sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, FMLA and employee and supervisor training.

This information is not a substitute for legal advice and should be considered for general guidance only. For more information or if you have further questions, please contact one of our Labor and Employment attorneys.