A bill introduced in Massachusetts on Monday would make it a suspected violation of the law of retaliation if a worker is fired or discriminated against within 90 days of filing a workers’ claim for damages.
HB 4606 states that no “person or entity, itself or through its agent, may terminate, refuse to employ, or otherwise discriminate or take any negative action, or threaten to terminate, refuse to employ or otherwise discriminate or take negative action against any person because that person exercised (an employment) right granted (under state law), including reporting or seeking treatment for a work-related injury or illness. “
The bill states that “there shall be a rebuttable presumption of (this) violation”; if action is taken against a worker within 90 days after the worker filed a claim, helped another worker to file a claim or testified for an injured party. on behalf of workers.
According to the bill, an “unfavorable measure” would include “a measure to deprive an employee of all rights conferred by this chapter, including by falsely denying an employment relationship or falsely denying that an injury or illness was work-related.”
The presumption can be rebutted “by clear and convincing evidence that the negative action was taken for a permissible purpose and that the action would have been taken in the absence of” the claim for damages or participation in an injured worker’s proceeding.
The bill requires an infected worker to submit a complaint to the Minister of Justice, who can initiate criminal or civil proceedings.
The bill was sent to the House Ways and Means Committee.