Bill S1823-2009

Establishes a civil cause of action for employees who are subjected to an abusive work environment.




TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the labor law, in relation to establishing a private cause of action for an abusive work environment

PURPOSE To establish a civil cause of action for employees who are subject to an abusive work environment.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS : Clearly states the definitions of abusive conduct; abusive work environment; conduct; constructive discharge; employee; employer; malice; negative employment decision; physical harm;· and psychological harm.

Section 3 defines Unlawful Employment Practice

Section 4 defines Employer Liability

Section 5 defines Defenses

Section 6 defines Retaliation

Section 7 defines Relief generally Employer liability

Section 8 defines Procedures Private right of action Time limitations

Section 9 defines Effect on other state laws other state laws Worker's compensation and election remedies


The social and economic well-being of the state is dependent upon healthy and productive employees. Surveys and studies have documented that between 16 to 21 percent of employees directly experience health-endangering workplace bullying, abuse and harassment, and that this behavior is four times more prevalent than sexual harassment alone. Surveys and studies have also documented that abusive work environments can have serious effects on targeted employees, including feelings of shame and humiliation, stress, loss of sleep, severe anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, reduced immunity to infection, stress related gastrointestinal disorders, hypertension, pathophysiologic changes that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and other such effects.

This legislation will provide legal redress for employees who have been harmed, psychologically, physically, or economically. It will also provide legal incentives for employers to prevent and respond to mistreatment of employees at work.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : 2008: S.8793 Referred to Rules


EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect immediately.



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