Bill 185 passed the House of Representatives in a 25-15 vote on the last day of session, Monday June 30. The bill will will now be sent to the Governor’s desk for his signature. This bill will expand the State disability-based employment
discrimination law to employers with 4 or more employees. Previously, the law
only applies to employers with 15 or more employees.
The Senate voted to pass SB 185 on June 3 in a 15-5 vote.
Concerns with this new law: Small business with 4-14 employees will face exposure to new
liability and litigation concerns they have not previously faced as well as the
challenge of coming into compliance with a complicated framework of
ever-changing employment regulations.
primary concern expressed by our members is that this law appears to cast
aside protections contained in Federal Equal Employment Provisions of the
Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), which limits enforcement
of applicable provisions to businesses with fifteen or more employees. Breaking
with the framework set by this federal law and forcing businesses with less
than 15 employees to come into compliance is not only cumbersome and confusing
for these small businesses, it opens the door for disability discrimination
lawsuits for against small businesses who would now become liable for the all
NFIB thanks Sen. Robert
Venables, Sr for his vocal opposition to this bill. His Statement: “The reason we went to 15 [employees] is because
small businesses don’t have a lot of money. When you get down to 4 [employees],
you don’t have a lot of extra money that allows you to do things that would be
necessary to do this bill. It goes too far. Just because other states did it
doesn’t make it right. This is going to have a really big impact on small
businesses with just 4 employees.”
Thank you to everyone who took action and urged their legislators to oppose this bill