Paid family leave and other employee rights bills have businesses concerned
Monday, March 25, 2019
The House Business and Labor and Senate Workforce committees will meet jointly Monday, March 25, to discuss paid family leave legislation.
House Bill 3031, the major paid family leave bill being pushed by Democratic leadership, would implement a state-run medical leave insurance package that would allow eligible employees to receive a percentage of their wages while on medical or military leave.
In contrast, the compromise HB 3385 would create an account that employees would pay into for their leave funding. Heated debates are expected during the public hearing, where businesses, employees and legislators will weigh in.
Senate Bill 726, now called the Workplace Fairness Act, received an informational hearing Thursday, March 21, in the Senate Workforce Committee to update the public on negotiations and future amendments. This bill was heard early in the session and worries business stakeholders. It would place personal liability on executive officers and owners of businesses if they should have known about the discrimination or harassment, even if they did not know.
Negotiators have been working to lower the proposed statute of limitations to four years instead of seven, as well as limiting the individual liability for executives or owners. We expect further discussions during the Tuesday, March 26, Senate Workforce Committee hearing and amendments to be coming.
HB 2016, a major collective bargaining bill, passed out of the House Business and Labor Committee on Monday, March 18, with a 7-4 vote. The changes proposed in the bill would greatly expand employee and union rights around employee leave, union activity and data privacy and could put school districts and students on the hook for increased costs. Education stakeholders have expressed their concern with the bill. We expect party-line votes on the House floor.
Senate Joint Resolution 23, which looks to put future personal income kickers into the Personal Investment in Education Fund, received a Senate Finance and Revenue Committee hearing Wednesday, March 20. This resolution would need to be referred to the ballot during the next general election. Testimony raised concerns that the state would inappropriately allocate the projected $748.5 million kicker.