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Legislation Introduced to Protect Workers Free Speech Rights

Senate Bill 109 prohibits mandatory workplace meetings to prevent union membership



March 27, 2023

PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center - Ketchikan, Alaska

(SitNews) Juneau, Alaska - Last week, Senator Löki Gale Tobin (D-Anchorage) introduced Senate Bill 109 – The Employee Free Speech Act. The bill clarifies the right of employees in Alaska to opt out of employer speech restrictions. 

Senate Bill 109 seeks to prohibit so-called “captive audience meetings,” which are mandatory meetings held during work hours whose purpose is to discourage employees from joining a labor union. Currently, these meetings are only prohibited within 24 hours of a union election. Senate Bill 109 would also put limits on mandatory meetings whose primary purpose is to communicate an employer’s religious or political opinions. Nothing in Senate Bill 109 would limit an employer from hosting a meeting, only from making the meeting mandatory and punishing an employee for refusing to attend.

“Workers in Alaska should be free to exercise their right to unionize without the threat of coercion. In a time when unionization efforts are on the rise across the country, we must ensure that the rights of workers are upheld and protected. No employer should be able to host meetings to espouse their political and religious beliefs and require their employees to attend,” said Sen. Löki Gale Tobin. 

Senate Bill 109 was referred to the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Edited by Mary Kauffman, SitNews

Source of News:

Alaska Senate Majority


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