ARSHRM - Arkansas SHRM State Council

Promoting and Serving
the Human Resource Profession in Arkansas

SHRM -  Society for Human Resources Professionals

State Legislature Tracking

Arkansas SHRM was active in monitoring legislation filed during the Arkansas General Assembly legislative session. Below is a list of bills we were watching and their status. 


Effective Date of New Laws: Generally, new laws in Arkansas are effective on the 91st day after Sine Die Adjournment of the Legislature. Sine Die Adjournment for the 2023 General Session is anticipated/expected to occur on May 1, 2023. New laws without an emergency clause are anticipated to become effective on July 31, 2023 (provided Sine Die Adjournment occurs on May 1, 2023. New laws with an emergency clause are generally effective when signed by the Governor.

Any new law may have specific provision in that legislation that specify effective dates for all or part of the new law. If the new law includes specific effective dates, then the general rule does not apply to that legislation. Any bills filed that are not passed during the session lapse and are not carried over to future legislative sessions.


The following bills for the 2023 General Session of the Arkansas Legislature were tracked:

 HB 1006: To require employers that cover abortions or travel expenses related to abortion to also provide twelve (12) weeks of paid maternity leave.

Passed House 80-12

Referred to Senate Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee

Not passed by end of session

ARSHRM is Opposed to HB 1006.

 HB 1017: Add school district employees to the list of public employees that are allowed to take a leave of absence related to participation in certain emergency and rescue services.

Passed House 96-0 |  Passed Senate 35-1 | Signed by Governor – Act 20

No emergency clause

 HB 1091: Require that GED be treated the same as high school diploma for employment in Arkansas.

Passed House 98-0 |  Passed Senate 34-0 | Signed by Governor – Act 100

No emergency clause

 HB 1130: Clarifies that a covenant not to compete agreement is unenforceable for medical professionals that hold a license under Arkansas Code Title 17, Subtitle.

Referred to House Insurance and Commerce Committee

Not passed by end of session

 HB 1181: To establish the counseling compact in Arkansas. This bill aligns with SHRM’s efforts to get the Counseling Compact passed at the State level.

Passed House 79-8 | Passed Senate 34-0 | Signed by governor – Act 260

No emergency clause

 HB 1197: Disqualifies claimants for UI benefits if claimant fails to respond to offer of employment or fails to appear for previously scheduled interview.

Passed House 84-10 |  Passed Senate 33-0 | Signed by Governor – Act 106

Effective date in legislation of January 1, 2024

 HB 1271

 SB 263: These bills seek to eliminate the current prior authorization processes for all fully insured individuals and small businesses. The bill applies to insurance companies, health maintenance organizations, hospital and medical service corporations, risk-based provider organizations and sponsors of nonfederal self-funded governmental health plans.

Passed House 95-0 | Passed Senate 26-5, as amended |  Passed house 90-1

Signed by Governor - Act 575

No emergency clause

 HB 1410: Repeals requirement that an employer of child under 16 years of age must procure an employment certificate and make it available to Division of Labor and Division of Elementary and Secondary Education or local school officials.

Passed House 54-32 |  Passed Senate 24-9 |  Signed by Governor – Act 195

No emergency clause

 HB 1259

 SB 122: This bill seeks to require a healthcare insurer to pay a healthcare provider all costs of care including deductibles, coinsurance and copays, which are currently the responsibility of the patient/health plan enrollee. The insurer must then collect the deductibles, coinsurance and copays from the patient/enrollee. The bill would prohibit the insurer from withholding any amount for cost sharing and also prohibit any decrease in reimbursements or increase in premiums. Further, the insurer cannot cancel a policy for unpaid amounts. A health insurer estimates the financial impact of this bill to possibly be as much as $730 million.

Referred to House Insurance and Commerce committee

Referred to Senate Insurance and Commerce committee

Not passed by end of session

 HB 1430:Multiple changes to unemployment insurance law:

  • Reduces wage base from $10,000 to $7,000;
  • Changes wage base indexing as long as trust fund has minimum of $600 million;
  • Reduces maximum number of benefit weeks from 16 to 12;
  • Reduces new employer UI tax rate from 2.9% to 1.9%
  • Repeals stabilization tax and replaces with administrative assessment of 0.125%;
  • Reduces maximum UI tax rate from 14% to 10%;

Passed House 79-15 | Passed Senate 29-3 | Signed by Governor – Act 196

 HB 1433: Amends the law related to the Division of Workforce Services regarding rules, disclosure of information, judicial review for unemployment claims, recovery claims, Arkansas Workforce Development Board membership, and adult education funds.

Passed House 91-1 |  Passed Senate 32-1 | Signed by Governor – Act 197

Included emergency clause

 HB 1451: Requires employers to provide unpaid leave to Veteran employees on Veteran’s Day.

Failed in House 28-37

 HB 1575: Requires at least five (5) work search contacts for individuals claiming unemployment benefits.

Passed House 74-17 |  Passed Senate 27-5 |  Signed by Governor – Act 587

Effective date January 1, 2024

 HB 1576: Prohibits employers, public schools, and State supported colleges from discriminating against an individual because of a natural, protective, or cultural hairstyle. Referred to as CROWN Act.

Passed House 83-6 |  Passed Senate 32-0 |  Signed by Governor – Act 514

No emergency clause

 HB 1611: Repeals the prohibition against Work Comp Commission awarding attorney’s fees in work comp cases in respect of a claim on medical benefits or services.

Referred to House Public Health, Welfare, and Labor committee

Not passed by end of session

 HB 1612: Repeals the limits on the total disability rate in work comp cases regarding to compensation payable for disability or death of injured worker,

Referred to House Public Health, Welfare, and Labor committee

Not passed by end of session

 HB 1628: Repeals the existing state law governing non-compete agreements and replaces it with language to prohibit all “covenants not to compete” in the state. This is a blanket prohibition, regardless of industry. It is unclear whether the ban would only apply to agreements moving forward or whether it could also apply retroactively. Further, “employee” is not defined, so it is not clear whether the prohibition applies to current and prospective employees. The bill does make clear that it excludes non-solicitation and confidentiality agreements, along with agreements entered into upon the sale of a business. However, those terms are not defined.

The State Chamber opposes HB1628.

Referred to House Insurance and Commerce committee.

Not passed by end of session

 HB 1682: Prohibits an individual who commits fraud to collect or increase unemployment insurance benefits from being eligible for unemployment insurance benefits for 10 years, requires full repayment of fraudulently-obtained benefits plus a 20% penalty.

Referred to House Public Health Welfare, and Labor committee.


 HB 1840: To prevent people who committed unemployment fraud from collecting unemployment benefits.

Passed House 89-0 |  Passed Senate 32-0 No action by governor – Act 854

Effective October 1, 2023

 SB 71; Prohibits state entities from discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, a person or group on the basis of race, gender, color, ethnicity, or national origin in matters of state employment, public education, or state procurement. 

Returned to Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee after amendment.

Passed Senate 18-2 |  Failed in House – 27-51 

ARSHRM is Opposed to SB 71. 

 SB 111: Allows insurers to develop and market a new line of insurance – “family leave insurance.”

Passed Senate 32-0 |  Passed House 98-0 |  Signed by governor – Act 84

No emergency clause 

 SB 230: Requires employers to provide 8 hours of paid leave to each employee registered to vote for early voting.

Referred to Senate State Agencies and Governmental Affairs Committee

Not passed by end of session

 SB 263: Modifies the process for mechanics and artisans selling property that is held for debt in exchange for labor and materials.

Passed Senate 35-0 |  Passed by House 92-1 |  No action by Governor – Act 388

No emergency clause

 SB 390: Increases fines and the length of time for the assessment of civil penalties related to child labor violations, provides criminal penalties related to child labor violations for first and subsequent offenses.

Passed Senate 35-0 |  Passed House 93-2 |  No action by governor – Act 687

No emergency clause

SB 369SB 470: These bills seek to require the Division of Career and Technical Education to review new and existing career and technical pathways to determine which courses meet criteria for weighted credit and publish a list of approved pathways annually.  The State Chamber opposes these bills because the State Chamber believes they weaken Arkansas' nationally leading computer science education requirement.

SB369 – Passed Senate 27-2  Not passed by end of session

SB470 – Passed Senate 26-2 | Passed House 58-22 |  No action by governor – Act 654  No emergency clause

 SB 522: To amend and require that certain records be kept by the employer (Pay stubs)

Not passed by end of session


Your help is needed for ARSHRM to be effective during the legislative process:

  • When a call for Action is presented, we need our members to reach out to the Legislative Representative or Senator to support or oppose the bill. To find your district, go HERE.
  • Share information to their membership about bills.
  • Assist with bill monitoring and writing up talking points.
  • We always need and appreciate volunteers to show up at the Capitol to either testify or support those that are testifying. Thank you to Tim Orellano, Broderick Daniels and Elan Kesilman who testified on behalf of Arkansas SHRM in the House State Agencies and Governmental Affairs committee meeting regarding our opposition to SB71.

If you're interested in serving on the ARSHRM Legislative Committee or have questions regarding the session or a bill, please reach out to our Governmental Affairs Director, Steve Schulte ()