Employer Gag Order Bill Goes to State Senate

05.13.2011
Issues & Policies

A bill that puts a gag order on employers, restricting their ability to communicate with their employees, passed the state House this week and is on the way to the Senate.

The House narrowly approved the proposal 78 to 65 after an 11-hour debate. HB 5460, known as the “captive audience” bill, prohibits much of what employers can talk about at required company meetings.

Employers would be barred from addressing such issues as health insurance, employee wages and benefits, and any local, state or federal news impacting the company and jobs.   

Even talking about a company’s charitable and community service projects would be off-limits.

Bad policy

HB 5460 is another example of bad legislation being driven by those who don’t understand what it takes to successfully run a business in Connecticut or how weak Connecticut's economy still is.

“It's a bad time — while the recession still lingers — for the legislature to pile on business,” says The Hartford Courant. “Employers ought to have the right to speak to workers about issues pertinent to unionization without threatening them.”

 “Lawmakers should say no to … jobs-killing legislation,” concluded the Courant.

Employees want more face-to-face communication to know what’s going on with their company, benefits and even what’s happening at the State Capitol.

HB 5460 is a significant roadblock to those communications and must be rejected.

Being “open for business” should mean Connecticut … is removing barriers to the relocation and growth of business,” says the Torrington Register.

HB 5460 says just the opposite: That Connecticut is closed to business. We are already seen across the country as among the worst states to do business. No other state has a gag order like this. This is no time to be first. 

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