The bill majority party members have thrown together to help and appeal to women in this election season also contains several damaging provisions for employers that are not getting much attention. The bill contains a dramatic expansion of the Human Rights Act that is being opposed by both private and public employers and hopefully will not survive the conference committee. NFIB is one of the co-leaders on this coalition and has been a loud voice in opposition to these provisions that were added to the women’s bill.
The worst of the three is this dramatic expansion of the Human Rights Act through adding familial status/caregiver to the Act. It would put all of us under the Human Rights Act at various points in our lives and is a dramatic departure from the current Human Rights Act, which in virtually all cases is based on the characteristic of the individual. There are strong and credible fears of a dramatic increase in lawsuits against employers, since if this passes it would be extremely difficult to legally discipline or terminate someone if they happen to be in a caregiver situation when the disciplinary action occurred. Fortunately, this provision and the other two that expand the Human Rights Act are not in the Senate version of the bill, and hopefully none of these will survive the conference committee.
The bill also contains two other expansions of the Human Rights Act that are aimed at very specific situations, but also extremely inappropriate. We appreciate the fact that the Senate leadership has defeated or stalled all of these provisions and they are not in the Senate bill going in the conference committee.