HB 1133 – AS INTRODUCED
HOUSE BILL 1133
This bill establishes the employee civic duty act which gives employees the right to take time off without pay to perform certain civic duties.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [
in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Six
AN ACT establishing the employee civic duty act.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
275:61 Title. This act shall be known as the employee civic duty act.
I. The purpose of this act is to grant employees rights that may not be available under the common law doctrine of employment at will or are not codified under New Hampshire or federal law.
II. The legislature recognizes that state and local governments rely upon unpaid volunteers for operations that include fire, police, zoning, town offices, school boards, legislative commissions, and other appointed positions. The legislature also recognizes that civic participation is necessary for the maintenance of a free democratic republic and for the protection of civil government that secures individual rights and the security of the community.
275:63 Definitions. In this subdivision:
I. “Civic duty leave” means a leave of absence from an employer for service and attendance, or both, such as serving as a member of a public board, a commission or similar body where a person is not a party to an action nor is paid a salary.
II. “Employer” means employers with 6 or more employees.
275:64 Right to Civic Duty Leave. An employee shall have the right to request civic duty leave without pay from an employer. The employer shall grant the employee’s request unless the employer has applied for an exemption under RSA 275:65. An employer shall not require an employee to use accumulated vacation, sick, or personal time for civic duty leave. The employer may choose to pay an employee for civic duty leave. The employee shall show the employer written proof that his or her presence is required in order to be eligible for civic duty leave.
275:65 Exemption. An employer who objects to an employee’s request for civic duty leave may file a request for an exemption from civic duty leave with the labor commissioner. To obtain an exemption, the employer shall prove that the civic duty attendance is unreasonable and unduly burdensome and that there is no accommodation that the employer can make to adjust for the employee’s absence.
275:66 Appeal. An employee who feels that his or her request for civic duty leave has been abridged or denied by an employer may file a complaint with the labor commissioner for enforcement.
275:67 Penalty. Upon a finding that an employer has refused an employee’s request for civic duty leave in violation of RSA 275:64, the labor commissioner may impose a fine of up to $1,000 and shall require the employer to restore any benefits or earned time charged to the employee. Each refusal shall constitute a separate violation.
275:68 Rulemaking. The labor commissioner shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the process and forms for an employer to request an exemption and relative to the hearings and appeal process under this subdivision.
2 Report to the Legislature. The labor commissioner may report any suggestions for proposed legislation to improve the application or enforcement of this subdivision to the chairperson of the house labor, industrial and rehabilitative services committee.
3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 30 days after its passage.