Concord, NH – Senate Executive Department and Administration Chairman Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry, issued the following statement upon Senate passage of HB 591, legislation designed to protect public employees from abusive work environments:
“State employees deserve a work environment free from abuse and harassment and thankfully we can say that the vast majority of our employees that have that today. However, testimony received during the hearing on HB591 made it clear that there is more we can be doing to provide for the health and safety of our employees. This legislation will address those shortcomings by requiring state agencies to adopt policies to ensure work environments and protecting employees who report such conduct.
“I appreciate the bipartisan support for this legislation as well as the support for the floor amendment which addressed some of the key concerns brought to our attention by some employers and outside business interests,” continued Sen. Carson. “It is my hope that the House will consider these amendments favorably and adopt this legislation with the same high level of support they did last year.”
HB591 will require state agencies to adopt and communicate a policy prohibiting abusive conduct and procedures for reporting and addressing such conduct within six months of becoming law. The bill also provides whistleblower protections for employees who report instances of abusive workplace behavior.