Raised Bill No. 1035
January Session, 2015
LCO No. 4218
Referred to Committee on LABOR AND PUBLIC EMPLOYEES
AN ACT CONCERNING BULLYING IN THE WORKPLACE.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
Section 1. Section 4a-2a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):
(a) As used in this section:
(1) "Abusive conduct" means any conduct of a state employee in the workplace that is (A) performed with malice, and (B) unrelated to the state's legitimate interest, that a reasonable person would find hostile or offensive considering the severity, nature or frequency of the conduct. Abusive conduct shall include, but not be limited to, (i) infliction of verbal abuse such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults and epithets; (ii) verbal or physical conduct that a reasonable person would find threatening, intimidating or humiliating; or (iii) sabotaging or undermining a person's work performance; and
(2) "State employee" means any employee in the executive, legislative or judicial branch of state government, whether in the classified or unclassified service and whether full or part-time, but does not include any contractor, subcontractor or vendor of the state.
[(a)] (b) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 1999, and each fiscal year thereafter, the Commissioner of Administrative Services, in consultation with the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, shall, within the limits of available appropriations, provide an appropriate program of workplace stress awareness and prevention for state employees.
[(b)] (c) On or before January 1, 2012, the Commissioner of Administrative Services shall develop an employee training program to instruct state employees on workplace violence awareness, prevention and preparedness. Any full-time employee, as defined in section 5-196, employed by the state prior to January 1, 2012, shall be required to attend the training described in this subsection. Any full-time employee employed by the state on or after January 1, 2012, shall be required, not later than six months from the date of hire, to attend the training described in this subsection as a condition of his or her employment.
(d) On or before January 1, 2016, the Commissioner of Administrative Services, or the commissioner's designee, in consultation with the Commissioners of Public Safety and Mental Health and Addiction Services, or the commissioners' designees, shall, within existing budgetary resources, establish policies and procedures for preventing, reporting, evaluating and investigating complaints of abusive conduct occurring in the workplace between state employees.
Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) The Commissioner of Administrative Services, in consultation with the Commissioner of Public Safety, Labor Commissioner and Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services, shall create a Workplace Bullying Advisory Board.
(b) The board shall consist of the following members:
(1) Two appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives;
(2) Two appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate;
(3) One appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives;
(4) One appointed by the majority leader of the Senate;
(5) One appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives;
(6) One appointed by the minority leader of the Senate;
(7) The Commissioner of Administrative Services, or the commissioner's designee;
(8) The Commissioner of Public Safety, or the commissioner's designee;
(9) The Labor Commissioner, or the commissioner's designee; and
(10) The Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services, or the commissioner's designee.
(c) All appointments to the board shall be made not later than thirty days after the effective date of this section. Any vacancy shall be filled by the appointing authority.
(d) The speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate shall select two chairpersons of the board from among the members of the board. Such chairpersons shall schedule the first meeting of the board, which shall be held not later than sixty days after the effective date of this section.
(e) The members shall serve without compensation but shall, within available appropriations, be reimbursed in accordance with the standard travel regulations for all necessary expenses that they may incur through service on the board.
(f) Each member shall be entitled to one vote on the board. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business, the exercise of any power or the performance of any duty authorized or imposed by law.
(g) The administrative staff of the Department of Administrative Services shall serve as administrative staff of the board.
(h) Not later than January 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, the board shall submit a report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to administrative services, labor, public safety and mental health and addiction services. Such report shall include (1) a summary of the number of complaints of workplace violence or abusive conduct involving state employees and the outcomes of such complaints for the preceding year, (2) recommendations for administrative or legislative action related to such complaints, and (3) any additional information that the board deems necessary and relevant to reduce instances of workplace violence and abusive conduct in the workplace.
This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:
Statement of Purpose:
To require that the Department of Administrative Services report the number of complaints of bullying or abusive conduct to the General Assembly and to create a Workplace Bullying Advisory Board.
[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]