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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1505         FILED ON: 1/16/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1780

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Martha M. Walz

_______________

To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to non-discrimination training in the workplace.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Martha M. Walz

8th Suffolk

Carlos Henriquez

5th Suffolk

Cory Atkins

14th Middlesex

Carl M. Sciortino, Jr.

34th Middlesex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 1505        FILED ON: 1/16/2013

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 1780

By Ms. Walz of Boston, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1780) of Martha M. Walz and others relative to non discrimination training in the workplace.  Labor and Workforce Development. 

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE HOUSE, NO. 1413 OF 2011-2012.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

_______________

 

An Act relative to non-discrimination training in the workplace.
 

              Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to reduce discrimination, harassment and retaliation in the workplace, therefore, it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1. Section 3A of chapter 151B of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out subsection (e), and inserting the place thereof the following subsection:- 

              (e) Employers and labor organizations are encouraged to conduct an education and training program for new non-supervisory employees and members, within 1 year of commencement of employment or membership, which includes at a minimum the information set forth in this section.  

              SECTION 2. Said chapter 151B is hereby further amended by inserting after section 3A the following section:-   

              Section 3B. (a) Employers are encouraged to provide at least 2 hours of classroom or other interactive training and education regarding illegal workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation to all supervisory and managerial employees. This training and education should be provided to all new supervisory and managerial employees within 6 months of their date of hire or assumption of a supervisory or managerial position. Employers are encouraged to provide this training and education to each supervisory or managerial employee once every 2 years. 

              (b) The training and education described in this section should include at a minimum: (i) information and practical guidance regarding all federal and state statutory provisions concerning the prohibition against and the prevention and correction of workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation; (ii) information about the remedies available to victims of workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation; and (iii) practical examples aimed at instructing supervisors and managerial employees in the prevention of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.  The training and education shall be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and expertise in the prevention of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.  

              (c) A claim that the training and education described by this section did not reach a particular individual or individuals shall not result in the liability of any employer to any present or former employee or applicant in an action alleging illegal workplace discrimination, harassment or retaliation.   

              (d) An employer that provides at least 2 hours of classroom or other interactive training and education to a supervisory or managerial employee regarding illegal workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation and thereafter provides this training at least once every 2 years under this section shall have an affirmative defense to any action alleging illegal discrimination, harassment or retaliation brought against the employer based on that supervisor’s or managerial employee’s actions or failure to act. 

              (e) The training and education described in this section is intended to establish a minimum threshold and should not discourage an employer from providing for longer, more frequent or more elaborate training and education regarding unlawful workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation in order to meet its obligations to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent and correct discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

              SECTION 3. The training and education described in subsections (a) and (b) of section 3B of chapter 151B of the General Laws, as inserted by section 2, shall apply to all supervisory and managerial employees employed as of January 1, 2014. 

              SECTION 4. The affirmative defense available under subsection (d) of section 3B of chapter 151B of the General Laws, as so inserted, shall be available to an employer who has provided the relevant training and education on or after January 1, 2014. 

              SECTION 5. Sections 1 through 4 shall take effect on January 1, 2014. 

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