2014 Employment Discrimination Legislation

12/9/2014

2014 Enacted Employment-Related Discrimination Legislation

During the 2014 legislative session, 41 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico introduced bills related to discrimination in the workplace or related to employment. Of those, 18 states and Puerto Rico enacted laws. Below are summaries of enacted bills.

CALIFORNIA

CA A 1443—Title: Harassment: Unpaid Interns.
Summary: Provides that discrimination against any person in the selection, termination, training, or other terms or treatment of that person in an unpaid internship, or another limited duration program to provide unpaid work experience for that person, or the harassment of an unpaid intern or volunteer, on account of the factors of the Fair Employment and Housing Act, is an unlawful employment practice. Status: 09/09/2014 Signed by Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter No. 302.

CA A 1660—Title: Driver's Licenses: Nondiscrimination.
Summary: Makes it a violation of the Fair Housing and Employment Act for an employer or other entity to discriminate against a person because he or she holds a driver's license issued under provisions allowing such issuance to persons who are unable to submit proof of lawful presence in the United States, or to require a person to present a driver's license. Status: 09/19/2014 Signed by Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter No. 452.

CA A 1792—Title: Public Benefits: Reports on Employers.
Summary: Requires the Employment Development Dept. to be informed of the names and social security numbers of all recipients of the Medi-Cal program. Requires specified state agencies to determine the average per individual cost of those programs for employers with more than 100 employees and to inform the Dept. of these costs. Requires public posting of employers with employees receiving public assistance benefits. Prohibits adverse actions by employers regarding their employees enrolled in the Medi-Cal program. Status: 09/30/2014 Signed by Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter No. 889.

CA A 2053 — Title: Employment Discrimination or Harassment: Education.
Summary: Requires employer training and education regarding sexual harassment for all supervisory employees, and that such training and education include prevention of abusive conduct. Status: 09/09/2014 Signed by Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter No. 306.

CA A 2288—Title: Child Labor Protection Act of 2014.
Summary: Authorizes treble damages to an individual who was discriminated against in the terms or conditions of his or her employment because he or she filed a claim or civil action alleging a violation of employment laws that arose while the individual was a minor. Status: 07/08/2014 Signed by Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter No. 96.

CA A 2536—Title: Employees: Emergency Rescue Personnel.
Summary: Amends existing law which prohibits discrimination against an employee for taking time off to perform emergency duty as one of several types of personnel. Expands the definition of emergency rescue personnel to include an officer, employee, or member of a disaster medical response entity sponsored or requested by the state.  Status: 09/15/2014 Signed by Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter No. 343.

CA A 2751—Title: Retaliation.
Summary: Amends an existing law that prohibits an employer or person from engaging in an unfair immigration-related practice against a person for the purpose of retaliation. Includes in the definition of unfair immigration-related practice the threatening to file or the filing of a false report or complaint with any state or federal agency. Requires a penalty to be awarded to an employee who engages in protected conduct and is retaliated against. Prohibits retaliation for updating personal information. Status: 06/28/2014 Signed by Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter No. 79.

CA AJR 38—Title: Fair Employment and Housing: Military and Veteran Status.
Summary: Requests Congress to pass and the President to sign into law Senate Bill 1281 and House Resolution 2654 and encourages the members of the California Congressional Delegation to join as co-authors on those measures. Status: 07/15/2014 Chaptered by Secretary of State. Resolution Chapter No. 99.

CA S 1087—Title: Farm Labor Contractors.
Summary: Prohibits granting a license to operate as a farm labor contractor to a person who has been found to have committed sexual harassment of any employee or who employed any supervisory employee who was known or has been found to have committed sexual harassment of an employee. Status: 09/28/2014 Signed by Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter No. 750.

CA S 1206—Title: State Personnel Board and Administrative Regulations.
Summary: Deletes the representation of minorities and women in the state workforce and equal employment opportunities from the list of matters subject to the Administrative Procedure Act. Revises and recasts this provision. Establishes board hearing procedures relating to disciplinary and merit matters, and disability discrimination complaints, including claims of discrimination based upon medical condition. Status: 08/21/2014 Signed by Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter No. 223.

CA S 911—Title: Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly.
Summary: Prohibits a licensee from retaliating against any person receiving services, or against any employee, on the basis that the person, employee, or any other person contacted law enforcement. Status: 09/28/2014 Signed by Governor. Chaptered by Secretary of State. Chapter No. 705.

DELAWARE

DE H 300—Title: Whistleblowers Protection Act.
Summary: Provides additional conditions under which an employer shall not discharge, threaten, or otherwise discriminate against an employee regarding an employee's compensation, terms, conditions, location, or privileges of employment. Status: 07/22/2014 Signed by Governor. Chapter Number 344.

DE S 185—Title: Persons with Disabilities Employment Protections Act.
Summary: Relates to the Persons with Disabilities Employment Protections Act; amends the definition of a person qualifying as an employer; includes state agencies, school boards, employment agencies and labor organizations. Status: 07/31/2014 Signed by Governor. Chapter Number 381.

DE S 212—Title: Pregnancy and Employment.
Summary: Addresses pregnancy accommodations; clarifies that the current prohibitions against sex discrimination in employment includes pregnancy and lactation; relates to an undue hardship; prohibits adverse action against an employee or applicant for employment; requires employer notification and posting of the notice in an area accessible to employees. Status: 09/09/2014 Signed by Governor. Chapter Number 429.

ILLINOIS

IL H 3748—Title: Disparities Facing the African-American Community Act.
Summary: Amends the Commission to End the Disparities Facing the African-American Community Act; provides that the Commission shall submit its findings and specific recommendations to the General Assembly on research into the disparities in the areas of healthcare, employment, education, criminal justice, housing, and other social and economic issues. Status: 06/30/2014 Signed by Governor. Public Act No. 684.

IL H 4157—Title: Human Rights Act.
Summary: Amends the Human Rights Act; provides that for purposes of the provisions of the Act concerning sexual harassment in the workplace, the term employee includes unpaid interns; provides the conditions under which a person is considered an unpaid intern. Status: 08/25/2014 Signed by Governor. Public Act No. 1037.

IL H 5563—Title: Equal Pay Act.
Summary: Amends the Equal Pay Act; provides that the Dept. of Labor may refer for investigation a complaint alleging a violation of the Act to the Dept. of Human Rights if the complaint also alleges a violation of the Human Rights Act over which the Dept. of Human Rights has jurisdiction. Status: 08/26/2014 Signed by Governor. Public Act No. 1051.

IL H 8—Title: State Human Rights Act.
Summary: Amends the Human Rights Act; defines pregnancy as pregnancy, childbirth, or conditions relates to pregnancy and childbirth; relates to unlawful employment discrimination based upon pregnancy, employment of peace officers and fire fighters, applicability to part-time, full-time, or probationary employees, requires that an employer make reasonable accommodations, prohibits denial of employment opportunities or benefits. Status: 08/25/2014 Signed by Governor. Public Act No. 1050.

IL S 3038—Title: Workplace Violence Prevention Act.
Summary: Includes within the Victims' Economic Security and Safety Act's prohibited acts certain actions by employers subject to provisions of the Workplace Violence Prevention Act; relates to workplace protection restraining orders, affidavits, hearings, continuances, emergency orders, testimony, employment discrimination, effect on employment benefits, exemptions, and confidentiality and privacy. Status: 07/16/2014 Signed by Governor. Public Act No. 766.

INDIANA

IN H 1242—Title: Employment Discrimination Against Veterans.
Summary: Provides that it is an unlawful employment practice for an employer to discriminate against a prospective employee on the basis of status as a veteran of the armed forces of the United States or the Indiana National Guard or a reserve component. Status: 03/25/2014 Signed by Governor. Public Law No. 136.

LOUISIANA

LA S 155—Title: Discrimination in Employment.
Summary: Prohibits discrimination in employment; provides for collective bargaining contracts. Status: 06/19/2014 Signed by Governor. Act No. 740.

LA S 322—Title: Employment.
Summary: Relates to the Equal Pay for Women Act; creates a good faith exception for penalties for not paying equal wages, unless the court determines that the employer's failure or refusal to pay was not in good faith. Status: 06/18/2014 Signed by Governor. Act No. 702.

LA S 412—Title: Employment Discrimination.
Summary: Extends the definition of discriminatory practice in employment to include veterans, pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions, sickle cell traits, age and genetic information. Status: 06/19/2014 Signed by Governor. Act No. 756.

MAINE

ME H 1194—Title: Firefighter Absence from Work for Emergency Response.
Summary: Prohibits an employer from discharging or disciplining for absence an employee who is a volunteer firefighter and who responds to an emergency in that capacity; changes the law to also protect members of municipal fire departments. LD: 1622 Status: 03/16/2014 Signed by Governor. Public Law No. 477.

ME S 634—Title: Enforcement of Workplace Safety.
Summary: Conforms enforcement of workplace safety laws by the Dept. of Labor to federal law; relates to eligibility for federal reimbursement; prohibits discrimination against employees for reporting hazards. Status: 03/10/2014 Signed by Governor. Public Law No. 473.

MARYLAND

MD H 1026—Title: Unpaid Parental Leave for Child Birth or Adoption.
Summary: Provides employees who have been employed by employer for a specified period of time, unpaid parental leave for the birth or adoption or foster care of a child. Status: 05/05/2014 Signed by Governor. Chapter No. 334.

MD S 212—Title: Discrimination Based on Gender Identity.
Summary: Prohibits discrimination based on gender identity in public accommodations, housing, and employment; provides immunity for employers relating to reasonable standards of dress and grooming. Status: 05/15/2014 Signed by Governor. Chapter No. 474.

MINNESOTA

MN H 2536—Title: Womens Economic Security.
Summary: Provides for the Women's Economic Security Act; requires equal pay certificates of compliance; relates to workforce development, unemployment eligibility, the women in high-wage, high-demand, nontraditional jobs grant program, women entrepreneurs business development competitive grants, pregnancy and parenting leave, wage disclosure protections, employment protections for women and family caregivers and a state-administered retirement savings plan by employer, IRA or a multiemployer retirement plan. Status: 05/11/2014 Signed by Governor. Filed with Secretary of State. Chapter No. 239.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

NH H 1188—Title: Paycheck Equity.
Summary: Prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or otherwise discriminating against an employee because he or she discloses the amount of his or her wages, salary or paid benefits. Status: 07/22/2014 Signed by Governor. Chapter No. 2014-250.

NH S 390—Title: Protection of Employees Who Are Victims of Abuse.
Summary: Prohibits employers from discriminating against employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and harassment. Status: 07/11/2014 Signed by Governor. Chapter No. 2014-208.

NEW JERSEY

NJ A 1999—Title: Employment Rights for Person with Criminal History.
Summary: Creates the Opportunity to Compete Act; establishes certain employment rights for persons with criminal histories; prohibits any employer from requiring an applicant for employment to complete any application that makes any inquiries regarding an applicant's criminal record during the initial employment application process. Status: 08/11/2014 Signed by Governor. Chapter No. 2014-32.

NEW YORK

NY A 8201—Title: Civil Rights Protections for Interns.
Summary: Provides certain civil rights protections for interns; provides the actions that would be considered as an unlawful discriminatory practice by an employer in regards to persons in intern positions and applicants; relates to discrimination because of the intern's age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, or domestic violence victim status; includes civil service. Status: 07/22/2014 Signed by Governor. Chapter No. 97.

OKLAHOMA

OK H 3496—Title: Trafficking in Children.
Summary: Requires reporting of child trafficking and notification to the district attorney; prohibits a privilege claim against reporting; prohibits interference or retaliation by an employer. Status: 04/07/2014 Signed by Governor. Chapter No. 20.

PENNSYLVANIA

PA S 33—Title: Whistleblower Protection of Reporters of Child Abuse.
Summary: Provides for protection from employment discrimination for reporting child abuse or suspected child abuse; further provides for persons requires to report suspected child abuse. Status: 04/15/2014 Signed by Governor. Act No. 2014-34.

PUERTO RICO

PR H 1467—Title: Retaliation Against Workers.
Summary: Amends Law 115 of 1991 known as the Law of Retaliation; relates to protection of workers against retaliation for providing testimony or information. Status: 09/29/2014 Signed by Governor. Law Number 169-2014.

PR HR 895—Title: Workplace Sexual Harassment Study.
Summary: Orders the House Committees on Labor Affairs and Public Retirement System Service and Women Affairs and Equity to investigate and report on the operations of the Anti-Discrimination Unit of the Dept. of Labor and Human Resources. Status: 05/05/2014 Passed House.

PR S 724—Title: Former Armed Forces Members.
Summary: Amends Law 100 of 1959 to include discrimination because of current or past military or veteran status. Status: 07/23/2014 Signed by Governor. Law Number 104-2014.

PR SR 175—Title: Women Equal Work and Pay Program Study.
Summary: Orders the Senate Committees on Employment, Workplace Relations and Consumer Affairs, Women's Affairs, and Civil Rights, Citizenship and Social Economy to investigate the specific performance of Law 11 of 2009 which provides training programs and education programs to ensure equal pay for equal work for women. Status: 03/06/2014 Passed Senate.

RHODE ISLAND

RI S 2095—Title: Social Media Privacy.
Summary: Prohibits educational institutions from requiring, coercing or requesting a student or prospective student to disclose the password or provide access to a personal social media account; prohibits employers from requiring, coercing, or requesting an employee or applicant to disclose the password or provide access to a personal social media account. Status: 06/30/2014 Signed by Governor. Public Law No. 2014-207.

SOUTH CAROLINA

SC H 3124—Title: Child Abuse Reporting.
Summary: Prohibits an employer from dismissing, demoting, suspending, or disciplining an employee who reports child abuse or neglect. Status: 06/23/2014 Signed by Governor. Act No. 291.

TENNESSEE

TN S 1808—Title: Employee Online Privacy Act.
Summary: Creates the Employee Online Privacy Act of 2014; prevents an employer from requiring an employee or applicant to disclose the username and password for the employee's personal internet account except under certain circumstances. Status: 04/29/2014 Signed by Governor. Public Chaptered. Chapter No. 826.

TN S 2126—Title: Public Employment Litigation.
Summary: Relates to public employment litigation; relates to discriminatory practices, interference with performance of duties, retaliatory discharge, and violations of a conciliation agreement. Status: 05/22/2014 Signed by Governor. Public Chaptered. Chapter No. 995.

TN S 2226—Title: Workplace Bullying.
Summary: Requires the State Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations to create a model policy for employers to prevent abusive conduct in the workplace. Status: 05/22/2014 Signed by Governor. Public Chaptered. Chapter No. 997.

VIRGINIA

VA H 703—Title: Freedom of Information Act.
Summary: Exempts from FOIA administrative investigations conducted by a public institution of higher education relating to individual employment discrimination complaints or audits/investigations of any officer, dept., or program at such institutions. Status: 03/31/2014 Signed by Governor. Acts of Assembly. Chapter No. 414.

VA H 728—Title: Fraud and Abuse Whistle Blower Protection Act.
Summary: Relates to Fraud and Abuse Whistle Blower Protection Act; relates to discriminatory and retaliatory action against whistle blower; provides that a whistle blower may bring a civil action for violation of discriminatory and retaliatory action provisions of the Fraud and Abuse Whistle Blower Protection Act. Status: 03/27/2014 Signed by Governor. Acts of Assembly. Chapter No. 335.

VA S 516—Title: Employment Preference for Veterans and Spouses.
Summary: Relates to employment preference for veterans and spouses of certain veterans; provides that private employers may grant preference in hiring and promotion to a veteran or the spouse of a veteran with a service-connected permanent and total disability; provides that the measure applies only to veterans who are honorably discharged. Status: 04/06/2014 Signed by Governor. Acts of Assembly. Chapter No. 740.

VA S 587—Title: Human Rights Act.
Summary: Relates to Virginia Human Rights Act; relates to causes of action for age discrimination; provides that no employer employing a specified amount of employees shall discharge any such employee on the basis of age if the employee is a specified age or older. Status: 04/04/2014 Signed by Governor. Acts of Assembly. Chapter No. 635.

VA S 78—Title: Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
Summary: Exempts from FOIA administrative investigations conducted by a public institution of higher education relating to individual employment discrimination complaints or audits or investigations of any officer, dept., or program at such institutions. Status: 04/04/2014 Signed by Governor. Acts of Assembly. Chapter No. 609.

WEST VIRGINIA

WV H 4284—Title: Pregnant Workers Fairness Act.
Summary: Relates to the Pregnant Workers' Fairness Act; defines unlawful employment practices; establishes remedies and enforcement for discriminatory conduct. Status: 03/21/2014 Signed by Governor. Act No. 135.

WYOMING

WY H 73—Title: State Employment of Persons with Disabilities.
Summary: Relates to state employment of persons with disabilities; relates to the Employment First policy; declares it a state policy to support competitive employment in an integrated setting; requires agencies to support competitive and integrated employment; relates to community based waiver services; provides that all state agencies shall share data and information across systems. Status: 03/07/2014 Signed by Governor. Chapter No. 44.

Source: StateNet bill tracking database, year-end search 11-17-14.