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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 5, 2018 10:19 AM
From: Representative Michael H. O'Brien
To: All House members
Subject: Co-Sponsorship-Rep. Mike O'Brien-Whistleblower Law Statute of Limitation Extension
Discrimination, sexual harassment and other forms of harassment are common occurrences at job sites across the country. Too often, employees and whistleblowers are afraid to report wrongdoing because they fear further discrimination or retaliation. Some victims do not report harassment because of doubt, embarrassment or shame, while other victims simply are unsure whether the behavior qualifies as workplace harassment. Whatever the circumstances, the end result is that workplace discrimination and harassment is vastly underreported, decreases productivity, and worst of all creates a chaotic working environment for hardworking men and women.

With the emergence of the #MeToo movement, more victims of sexual harassment and other forms of workplace harassment are courageously coming forward to report inappropriate behavior and retaliation in the workplace. These disturbing abuses experienced by our courageous workers should not be invalidated simply due to time or lack of understanding.

As part of a collaborative effort to strengthen protections for workers against sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, I am introducing legislation amending the Whistleblower Law to extend the amount of time employees have to file a complaint against an employer from 180 days to two years.

Additionally, my legislation would grant individuals submitting a complaint a right to trial by jury as well as the recovery of punitive damages.

We must provide victims of discrimination, sexual harassment and workplace harassment with additional time and opportunity to have their complaints appropriately heard while at the same time establishing greater accountability and trust within our government.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB2284