Changes to Key Workplace and Labor Regulations Under Consideration

The House General and Housing Committee has two bills addressing various workplace and labor issues recently passed by the Senate pending review and action.

The first, S.103, would dramatically undermine the existing court precedent for standards for determining harassment and discrimination in the workplace, as well as prohibit settlement agreements between employers and departing employees in cases of harassment from including a provision that the former employee will not seek reemployment with that employer.  This bill will likely be discussed this week and beyond.

The second, S.102, would prohibit employers from requiring that employees attend meetings about subjects deemed “political”.  The primary intent of these provisions in the bill is to prohibit mandatory meetings related to unionization, but could also have the effect of disallowing mandatory meetings about harassment, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and other issues.  The bill would also allow for card check unionization recognition for employers not under the preemptive jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board, as well as extend the jurisdiction (and unionization rules) of the State Labor Relations Board to agricultural workers in Vermont.  It is not clear if the Committee will take up this bill this year.

Employers interested in more information, updates, or opportunities to engage with legislators on these bills and related issues are strongly encouraged to contact us at info@aivt.org.