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Captive Audience Meetings

Beginning June 6, 2024, employers of all sizes can’t take—or threaten to take—adverse action against an employee to get them to attend, or for not attending, a meeting if its primary purpose is to express the employer’s opinion on religious or political matters. The same applies to listening to or viewing communications that are intended to communicate the employer’s views on religious or political matters. These types of laws are primarily aimed at preventing employees from being forced to attend anti-unionization meetings.

This law defines matters as religious if they relate to religious affiliation and practice and the decision to join or support any religious organization or association. Matters are considered political if they relate to any of the following:

  • Elections for political office
  • Political parties
  • Proposals to change legislation or regulations
  • The decision to join or support any political party or political, civic, community, fraternal, or labor organization

The law contains several exceptions, including (but not limited to) legally required communications, those necessary for employees to perform their job duties, and harassment prevention training. Also, the restrictions on religious communications don’t apply to religious organizations.

Employers must post a notice about these rights in a location frequented by employees and where notices are typically posted. Washington hasn’t indicated whether it will make a template notice, but employers can print and post a copy of the law in the workplace.

Action Items

  • Allow employees to opt out of any meeting or communication covered by this law and make sure supervisors understand the law.
  • Post the required notice where other employee notices are displayed.

Renton Extra Hour Offerings

Beginning July 1, 2024, Renton will require that any additional hours be offered and distributed to an employer’s part-time workers who have the skills and experience to perform the work before hiring new employees, contractors, or temporary workers.

 

HR Services Team
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