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5/1/2024 Senate passes LaMountain bill to protect employees’ freedom of speech, assembly, religion in the workplace
STATE HOUSE — The Senate Tuesday passed legislation introduced by Sen. Matthew L. LaMountain (D-Dist. 31, Warwick, Cranston) that would protect employees’ First Amendment rights in the workplace.

The bill (2024-S 2785) would protect the rights of employees in the workplace relating to free speech, assembly and religion as well as attendance at employer-sponsored meetings regarding political or religious matters.

“This legislation aims to find a middle ground in protecting the free speech rights of employees without trampling on the free speech rights of employers,” said Senator LaMountain. “Political coercion is becoming a more widespread problem in the workplace. Captive audience meetings, where employers require workers to listen to political, religious or anti-union rhetoric on company time, is a serious threat to individual liberty, and this bill seeks to curb that practice.”

Employees aggrieved by discipline or discharge by the employer would have the right to bring a civil action against the employer seeking equitable relief and/or compensatory damages including attorneys’ fees and costs.

The measure now moves to the House, where similar legislation (2024-H 7106) has been introduced by Rep. Robert E. Craven (D-Dist. 32, North Kingstown).

For more information, contact:
Daniel Trafford, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903