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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Climate Change Denial To Be New Protected #Emplaw Category?

Yes, I've been absent for a bit. I was caught up in an arbitration (results unknown at this point) so had a good excuse. Anyhow, I saw this tidbit and had to share it. A Maine lawmaker has proposed a bill that would make an employee's opinions about climate change a legally protected category.

To his credit (or maybe he just didn't think it through), although the stated purpose of the bill is to protect climate change deniers, the protection goes both ways. If passed, the bill would also prevent conservative employers from firing employees who express a belief that climate change is real.

An Act To Protect Political Speech and Prevent Climate Change Policy Profiling” was filed to counter a racketeering lawsuit by several states' attorney generals against Exxon relating to misleading the public and investors about climate change. 

The bill summary says:
The bill specifically prohibits the attorney general from investigating, joining an investigation initiated by another state or the federal government or prosecuting any person based on that person’s protected political speech. It also prohibits the attorney general from using the attorney general’s prosecutorial power to favor or disfavor protected political speech.
The bill also prohibits the state from favoring or disfavoring any person based on the person’s climate change policy preferences with regard to grants, contracts or employment.
I wonder how the state's chambers of commerce and business lobbyists will react to adding yet another protected category to the state's anti-discrimination laws (since it only applies to the state and not private employers, they may not care). Will climate change beliefs end up as another legally-protected category? If so, what's next? Russian hacking denial? Sincerely held belief in every single thing Fox news says? Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. "Russian hacking denial" -- too funny! Good to have you back, Donna. These are crazy times.


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