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Prohibition Against Employee Discipline

Concerning a prohibition against disciplining an employee for refusing to participate in employer speech, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2024 Regular Session
Labor & Employment
Bill Summary

The act prohibits an employer from subjecting or threatening to subject an employee to discipline, discharge, or an adverse employment action on account of the employee's refusal to attend or participate in an employer-sponsored meeting concerning religious or political matters or for declining to listen to the speech of or view religious or political communications from the employer or the agent, representative, or designee of the employer. With regard to state employees, the prohibitions apply only to meetings and communications relating to state employees' decisions to join or support a fraternal or labor organization.

Certain employer communications are exempt from the prohibition, including communications:

  • Required by law, a court order, or an agreement with a governmental entity to communicate to employees, but only to the extent of a legal requirement;
  • That are necessary for an employee to perform the employee's job duties; or
  • That are required to prevent unlawful discrimination or harassment.

Certain communications from institutions of higher education and K-12 schools and school districts are also exempt when the communication is related to coursework, symposia, or an academic program.

The act does not apply to certain religious corporations, entities, associations, educational institutions, societies, or nonprofit faith-based health systems or facilities.

The act authorizes an aggrieved person to seek relief by filing a complaint with the department of labor and employment (department) or by filing an action in district court after the person has exhausted all administrative remedies and has filed a complaint with the department. The act also creates an affirmative defense for employers.

Each employer is required to distribute, at the employer's workplace or through e-mail or a regularly used communication system, a notice to each employee of the employee rights outlined in the act.

For the 2024-25 state fiscal year, $278,564 is appropriated from the general fund to the department for use by the division of labor standards and statistics to implement the act.

VETOED by Governor May 17, 2024
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Did Not Become Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details