Attorney: Bill Creates Chaos for Employers
Employment law attorney Daniel Schwartz issued a major warning to employers yesterday about legislation that strips Connecticut employers of their constitutional rights.
“Employers: If there is one proposed bill at the Connecticut General Assembly to be concerned about this year, it is the stealth House Bill 6667,” Schwartz posted on his popular Connecticut Employment Law Blog.
“It could have the single biggest impact on employer/employee relations in a generation.”
HB 6667 cleared the Judiciary Committee and now waits action by the House of Representatives.
Schwartz singled out a provision in the last sentence of the bill’s final section, calling it “the proverbial Trojan horse, one that would change the workplace in significant ways.”
“This section would overturn a vital Connecticut Supreme Court case… that said that employee speech that relates to the job is not protected as ‘free speech’ under the Connecticut or U.S. Constitution,” the Pullman & Comley attorney wrote.
“Notably, it would also overturn U.S. Supreme Court precedent in Connecticut as well.”
Schwartz points out that the bill would constitutionalize common workplace grievances, providing a level of protection never before seen in the private workplace.
“It would allow employees to stand in the way of change because his or her views failed to win out,” he wrote. “Moreover, it would insulate from discipline employees who complain about — and eventually refuse to do — their job.”
CBIA strongly opposes HB 6667, noting that it will create significant disruptions in the workplace, with potentially numerous lawsuits between employees and managers.
Supporters of the bill argue that it protects whistleblowers, even though employees who engage in acts of whistle-blowing already are well protected under Connecticut law.
And, as CBIA’s Eric Gjede notes, if HB 6667 is necessary to protect whistleblowers, why were government-sector employees exempted from the bill?
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