Bill to Broaden Abusive Conduct Employee Base makes Progress in the House

HB388 – Abusive Conduct Reporting Amendments, sponsored by Keven Stratton (R), amends the definition of abusive conduct and specifies plans for how to deal with situations in which public employees feel they are in an environment that fits the definition. This bill will broaden the availability to utilize this process to all state employees, rather than just for those working in the executive branch.

According to the bill, “abusive conduct” means,

(a) “verbal, nonverbal, or physical conduct of an employee to another employee that, based on its severity, nature, and frequency of occurrence, a reasonable person would determine:

    1. is intended to cause intimidation, humiliation, or unwarranted distress;
    2. Results in substantial physical or psychological harms as result of intimidation, humiliation, or unwarranted distress; or
    3. Exploits an employee’s known physical or psychological disability

(b) “Abusive conduct: does not mean a single act unless the act is especially severe and egregious act…”

During Rep. Stratton’s presentation to the House of Representatives on March 4th, he stated a “civil, non-abusive workplace really adds to productivity and capacity” and that these changes will “provide greater efficiency and effectiveness in the workplace to make better use of taxpayer dollars.”

UPEA Executive Director, Todd Losser, testified in favor of these amendments and spoke to the significance of broadening the employee base that can utilize this process. This is especially important in state agencies that were previously excluded.

Employees in the Judicial, Legislative, Higher Ed, and all other state branches will now be able to take advantage of filing abusive conduct grievances, regardless of whether the employee is in a protected class.

This amended bill passed out of the House Government Operations Committee unanimously with favorable recommendation and on Monday, March 4th, the bill passed its second reading in the House unanimously with no representatives being absent.

UPEA supports HB388 and will continue to update members on its progress.