SENATE BILL 24
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
RELATING TO HUMAN RIGHTS; CREATING THE WORKPLACE HARASSMENT PREVENTION AND EDUCATION SECTION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS BUREAU OF THE LABOR RELATIONS DIVISION OF THE WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS DEPARTMENT; PROVIDING DUTIES; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 9-26-4 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2007, Chapter 200, Section 4) is amended to read:
"9-26-4. WORKFORCE SOLUTIONS DEPARTMENT CREATED.--The "workforce solutions department" is created in the executive branch pursuant to the Executive Reorganization Act. The department is a cabinet department that includes:
A. the office of the secretary;
B. the administrative services division;
C. the business services division;
D. the labor relations division, which includes the human rights bureau and the workplace harassment prevention and education section of that bureau;
E. the workforce technology division; and
F. the workforce transition services division."
SECTION 2. A new section of the Human Rights Act is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] HUMAN RIGHTS BUREAU--WORKPLACE HARASSMENT PREVENTION AND EDUCATION SECTION--PURPOSE--PUBLICATIONS AND OTHER NOTIFICATIONS TO EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES--DEFINITIONS.--
A. As used in this section:
(1) "retaliation" means any adverse action taken against a job candidate or an employee for filing a discrimination charge, testifying or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding or lawsuit related to discriminatory employment practices based on unlawful workplace harassment or sexual harassment;
(2) "sexual harassment" means a type of unlawful workplace harassment on the basis of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity and includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
(a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of a person's employment;
(b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an employee is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting that employee; or
(c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment; and
(3) "unlawful workplace harassment" means unsolicited and unwelcomed speech or conduct based on race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, age, color, disability, genetic information or political affiliation when:
(a) enduring the offensive conduct becomes a condition of continued employment; or
(b) the conduct is severe or pervasive enough to create a work environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile or abusive.
B. The "workplace harassment prevention and education section" of the bureau is created. The secretary shall hire a "supervisor" of the section who shall be knowledgeable about federal and state laws and court decisions on workplace discrimination, with particular emphasis on forms of workplace harassment and hostile workplaces. The supervisor and any subordinate staff shall be classified employees.
C. The section shall:
(1) design and implement a workplace harassment prevention and education campaign to inform employers and employees about federal and state laws related to unlawful workplace harassment, including sexual harassment; what constitutes an intimidating, hostile or abusive workplace environment; and retaliation;
(2) issue policy exemplars, guidelines, quick guides and other publications, public service announcements and other communications focused on employer and employee roles in preventing unlawful workplace harassment and procedures for documenting and reporting unlawful workplace harassment;
(3) serve as a clearinghouse for federal and state laws and court cases having to do with unlawful workplace harassment;
(4) assist the human rights division and the human rights commission in the taking of reports from employees complaining of unlawful workplace harassment and investigating such complaints; and
(5) issue an annual report to the governor and the legislature on the section's activities, including:
(a) statistics on the number and types of unlawful workplace harassment complaints filed, investigated and resolved by the human rights commission in the report year;
(b) the section's efforts to prevent unlawful workplace harassment and to educate employers and employees in the state on the nature of unlawful workplace harassment, remedies available to employees subject to unlawful workplace harassment or retaliation; and
(c) other information useful to the governor, the legislature and other state and local policymakers to improve conditions for all working New Mexicans."
SECTION 3. APPROPRIATION.--Five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the workforce solutions department for expenditure in fiscal year 2020 to carry out the purposes of this act. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2020 shall revert to the general fund.
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