Bipartisan vote guards against retaliation for employees who request a flexible work schedule for child care or to take care of an elderly or disabled family member, among other things
CONCORD, NH – The New Hampshire House Labor Committee voted 13-5 today to pass SB 416, a bill that guards against retaliation for employees who request a flexible work schedule for child care or to take care of an elderly or disabled family member, among other things. Amended and passed in the Senate, SB 416 simply states it is against the law for an employer to retaliate against an employee for requesting a flexible work schedule.
“Currently if an employee asks an employer about flexibility in their schedule they have no obligation to consider that request, and there is nothing that stops them from retaliating because the employee asked,” said Kary Jencks, executive director for NH Citizens Alliance. “SB 416 encourages employers and employees to have an open and direct conversation when scheduling needs arise. This could be coming in 30 minutes early so you can leave in time for your child’s soccer game, or regularly adjusting your schedule for pick up or drop off times for children or elderly or disabled family members. This bill will help with worker retention, worker productivity, and expand opportunity for all workers, especially women.”
“Forty-seven percent of New Hampshire’s workforce are women, the majority of whom are of sound reproductive age who due to family life may need at certain times in their career to request a flexible work arrangement without fear of being fired from their job,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress Education Fund. “The same legislators who voted against this bill in committee are the ones who voted against access to reproductive health care, including birth control, and who oppose opportunities to raise wages for workers. These politicians stand in the way of women by making it harder for them to decide when and if to start a family, and by opposing policies that ensure they have the economic stability and family friendly workplace policies to thrive if they do. We applaud the majority of the committee for supporting SB 416.”
The prime sponsor of SB 416 is Senator Dan Feltes, (D-Concord). Co-sponsors include Sen. D’Allesandro, Dist 20; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Kelly, Dist 10; Sen. Soucy, Dist 18; Sen. Woodburn, Dist 1; Rep. LeBrun, Hills. 32; Rep. Webb, Rock. 6; Rep. Rosenwald, Hills. 30; Rep. Luneau, Merr. 10; and Rep. Gile, Merr. 27. The Senate previously passed the amended version of SB 416 by a roll call vote of 13-10.
The Stand With Women or Stand in the Way campaign of NH Citizens Alliance and Granite State Progress Education Fund believes that instead of protecting outdated workplace policies that discriminate against women and limiting reproductive rights, our priority in New Hampshire should be to guarantee fair opportunities for women to succeed and to take care of their families.