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Connecticut Captive Audience Bill Declared Dead

In April, we wrote about the Captive Audience Bill pending in the Connecticut Legislature.  This legislation would have limited an employer’s right to speak to its employees about the employer’s religious and political views.  Backed by the AFL-CIO, the bill’s underlying goal was to limit an employer’s ability to discuss unions with its employees.  Many argued this bill was preempted by the National Labor Relations Act, and violated employers’ federal First Amendment rights to free speech. 

The House passed the bill on May 11th and it moved on to the Senate.  The Connecticut Attorney General had originally backed the bill in a letter dated May 5th.  However, two weeks later he issued another letter stating further research showed the bill would be preempted by federal labor law.  As a result, the Senate indefinitely tabled the bill.  This is the second time Connecticut tried, and failed, to pass a bill limiting an employer’s right to speak to their employees about certain topics. 

Hopefully the Legislature will not waste anymore time in the future attempting to pass a bill that is clearly preempted by federal law.  Brody and Associates regularly advises its clients on all labor management issues and provides various training programs.  If we can be of assistance in this area, please contact us at info@brodyandassociates.com or 203.965.0560.