Bill Seeking Complaint Policy Expansion Passed Through Committee

House Bill 12 –  Abusive Conduct Reporting Amendments was heard for the first time on February 6, 2020, in front of the House Business and Labor Committee. The bill sponsor, Representative Keven Stratton, R-Orem, opened the bill to expand the executive branch abusive conduct reporting policy to all state employees, including the judicial branch and higher education. Currently, this kind of harassment is only covered by State policy if the victim is a member of a protected class.

HB0012 expands the existing abusive conduct complaint process to all State employees. The bill requires the employee’s HR department to be notified, followed by an objective investigation into the complaint. The bill also has an education component; training related to stopping and identifying abusive conduct that would function as a preventative measure and also empower employees to come forward. The bill requests $500,000, primarily for education materials. Despite a split decision, largely due to the fiscal note, the committee voted in favor of the bill and it will continue on to the house floor.

UPEA representative, Hannah Gorski, testified in support of HB0012 stating, “When members call us with workplace treatment concerns, there is a process to engage with DHRM, and we can explain how to start it. When members from the judicial branch or higher education call, there is no process. They have nowhere to turn unless they are in a protected class. With this bill, Representative Stratton is providing the reporting process for these employees, and the important training for what constitutes abusive conduct.”