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Delaware Legislative Watch: Wage Disclosure Protection; Reproduction Health Decision Protection; Family Responsibilities Protection; and Public FMLA

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In Labor & Employment Law | On May 2, 2016

This time of year, we typically see a flurry of activity from Delaware’s General Assembly on matters of interest to employers.  I try to provide updates in issue-specific posts.  Today, I raise four issues in a single post.  Summaries and references to these issues are provided below.  Anyone wanting to be part of the legislative process should take note . . . and action.

 

WAGE DISCLOSURE PROTECTION

Notice RE HB 314 (Keeley, Longhurst, Henry, Baumbach, Bennett, Bolden, Heffernan, Kowalko, Lynn, Mulrooney, Paradee, K. Williams; Sens. Blevins, Peterson, Townsend)

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 19 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO UNLAWFUL EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES.

Synopsis:  This bill makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to require an employee to not disclose his or her wages.

URL:  http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis148.nsf/vwLegislation/HB+314/$file/legis.html?open

Actions History: Apr 19, 2016 – Introduced and Assigned to Labor Committee in House

 

REPRODUCTION HEALTH DECISION PROTECTION

Notice RE HB 316 (Heffernan, Longhurst, Poore, Baumbach, Bennett, Bolden, Briggs King, Keeley, Kowalko, Lynn, Mulrooney, Paradee, K. Williams; Sens. Bushweller, Peterson, Richardson, Townsend)

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 19 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION BASED ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH DECISIONS.

Synopsis:  This bill prohibits discrimination in employment based upon an individual’s reproductive health decisions. Delaware laws currently prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex or pregnancy; however, this legislation makes it clear that an employer is expressly prohibited from taking adverse employment action against an individual based on his or her reproductive health care decisions. This bill does not create any new obligations or change any existing obligations related to insurance coverage of reproductive health care.  This bill seeks to ensure that all workers should be judged on their performance at work, as opposed to their personal reproductive health care decisions.

URL:  http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis148.nsf/vwLegislation/HB+316/$file/legis.html?open

Actions History: Apr 19, 2016 – Introduced and Assigned to Labor Committee in House

 

FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES PROTECTION

Notice RE HB 317 (Heffernan, Longhurst, Poore, Baumbach, Bennett, Bolden, Briggs King, Keeley, Kowalko, Lynn, Mulrooney, Paradee, K. Williams; Sens. Bushweller, Peterson, Richardson, Townsend)

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 19 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION BASED ON FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES.

Synopsis:  This bill prohibits discrimination in employment based upon an individual’s caregiving responsibilities.   Workers should be judged on the merits of their performance at work, not their responsibilities at home. Five states and over 90 localities prohibit discrimination based on family responsibilities to some degree. This bill ensures Delaware workers with responsibilities for child care, elder care, or both, receive equal employment opportunities and are protected from discrimination in the workplace.

URL:  http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis148.nsf/vwLegislation/HB+317/$file/legis.html?open

Actions History: Apr 19, 2016 – Introduced and Assigned to Labor Committee in House

 

PUBLIC EMPLOYER FMLA ISSUES

I previously wrote about HB165.  Since then, on March 24, 2016, the bill was assigned to Appropriations Committee in the House.  Recently, a new bill – HB 301 was introduced.  It seems to clash with HB165. Some of the relevant language and links appear below:

HB301

http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis148.nsf/vwLegislation/HB+301/$file/legis.html?open

  • 5120 Paid Leave for birth of a child or adoption of a child.

(a) For child care purposes, a full-time or part-time employee shall be entitled to utilize accumulated sick leave upon the birth of a child of the employee or the employee’s spouse, or upon the adoption by the employee of a pre-kindergarten age child as per the rules and regulations adopted by the Merit Employee Relations Board or State Personnel Office for maternity leave. Said regulations shall be issued within 30 days of July 16, 1999. 

(b) In the event a mother who is a full-time employee gives birth to monoamniotic twins, or multiples of 3 or more, and notwithstanding the exhaustion of any benefits provided under the Family and Medical Leave Act [29 U.S.C. §§ 2601 et. seq.], the mother shall be entitled to unpaid leave for at least 6 weeks following the discharge of the newborn(s) from the hospital or other medical care facility. 

Actions History: Apr 06, 2016 – Introduced and Assigned to House Administration Committee in House

 

HB 165

http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis148.nsf/vwLegislation/HB+165/$file/legis.html?open

  • 5120 Paid leave for birth of a child or adoption of a child.

(a) Any full-time employee, who has been employed by the State for at least one year, shall be entitled to 12 weeks of paid leave upon the birth of a child of the employee or the employee’s spouse, or upon the adoption by the employee of a child who is 6 years of age or younger.

(b) The entitlement to leave under subsection (a) of this section shall expire at the end of the 12-month period beginning on the date of such birth or adoption.

(c) Without regard to length of employment, a full-time or part-time employee of the State shall be entitled to use accumulated sick leave upon the birth of a child of the employee or the employee’s spouse, or upon the adoption of a child who is 6 years of age or younger pursuant to the rules adopted by the Merit Employee Relations Board or State Personnel Office.

Note:  Also this amendment –

http://www.legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis148.nsf/vwLegislation/HA+1+to+HB+165/$file/legis.html?open

Actions History: Mar 24, 2016 – Assigned to Appropriations Committee in House
Jan 27, 2016 – Reported Out of Committee (HOUSE ADMINISTRATION) in House with 4 On Its Merits
Jan 26, 2016 – Amendment HA 2 – Introduced in House
Jan 26, 2016 – Amendment HA 1 – Introduced and Placed With Bill
Jun 03, 2015 – Introduced and Assigned to House Administration Committee in House

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