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LaMountain Bill Guarding Employee Free Speech Before House


[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] The RI State House. RIDOH warns COVID-19 masks are a must as spread is likely outside the home. Gov. Raimondo also announced RI will be expanding COVID-19 Tests.
[CREDIT: Rob Borkowski] The RI State House.  
Editor’s note: The following information was provided by the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau.

STATE HOUSE — Legislation introduced by Sen. Matthew L. LaMountain (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston) protecting employees’ First Amendment rights in the workplace, passed May 1 in the Senate, is now before the House.

The bill (2024-S 2785) would protect the rights of employees in the workplace relating to free speech, assembly and religion as well as attendance at employer-sponsored meetings regarding political or religious matters.

“This legislation aims to find a middle ground in protecting the free speech rights of employees without trampling on the free speech rights of employers,” said Senator LaMountain. “Political coercion is becoming a more widespread problem in the workplace. Captive audience meetings, where employers require workers to listen to political, religious or anti-union rhetoric on company time, is a serious threat to individual liberty, and this bill seeks to curb that practice.”

Employees aggrieved by discipline or discharge by the employer would have the right to bring a civil action against the employer seeking equitable relief and/or compensatory damages including attorneys’ fees and costs.

The measure now moves to the House, where similar legislation (2024-H 7106) has been introduced by Rep. Robert E. Craven (D-Dist. 32, North Kingstown). The bill, set for further study in February, is scheduled to be considered in the House today.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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