Workforce and business issue discussions ramped up as week two of the legislative session came to an end. Bills covering topics ranging from pregnancy accommodations in the workplace to marijuana usage have started to draw attention.
House Bill 2341 had a public hearing Monday, Jan. 28, in the House Business and Labor Committee. This bill ensures reasonable accommodations for known limitations related to pregnancy or childbirth in the workplace. HB 2593, a complementary bill addressing breastfeeding and milk expression in the workplace, was also introduced at Monday’s hearing. In general, there is support for these concepts, and it has been kicked to a workgroup process to finalize the details.
Looking forward, HB 2498, which adds language to the contractor status test previously established in state law, would change independent contractor requirements. HB 2498 was assigned to the House Rules Committee and will be brought to a work session, probably this week. A change in independent contractor status has many concerned and trying to understand the implications of such a proposal.
Senate Bill 379, a marijuana usage bill, is scheduled for hearing and work session Thursday in the Senate Judiciary Committee. SB 379 provides that employment cannot be terminated if an employee is using any substance that is lawful to use in this state, including marijuana. A similar bill was introduced in 2017 but did not pass. Employers have expressed serious concerns with this proposed legislation.