On Monday New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan vetoed a law intended to guarantee a "positive work environment" for state employees. Hassan said H-591 is flawed for "poorly defined and unworkable provisions that will inevitably lead to a dramatic increase in unwarranted workplace-related litigation."
She's absolutely right and passage of this terrible law would have left Granite State taxpayers to defend frivolous, union-backed lawsuits for the rest of eternity.
As it is, there are ample workplace laws already on the books. Among thousands of rules and regulations, federal and state departments of labor guarantee safeguards against harassment, abuse, discrimination and dangerous working conditions. There are also laws on wage floors and hour ceilings; workplace safety and health; workers compensation; benefit security; union protection; employee protection; wage garnishment protection; family and medical leave guarantees; and ample avenues for redress.
As Hassan wrote in her veto message, H-591 "attempts to legislate politeness, manners and the interpersonal relationships of co-workers." It wouldn't have accomplished any of those things, of course, but it would have done the following things noted by Hassan in her veto message:
An individual may claim workplace abuse if an employee believes he or she has an "unreasonable" workload, even if it is a workload similar to their co-workers.
An individual may claim workplace abuse if his or her supervisor or co-worker uses language that "criticizes" the employee in public -- even if the criticism is constructive, appropriate and done within the confines of the workplace.
An individual may claim workplace abuse if he or she feels his or her co-workers are not answering emails in a timely manner, and therefore "ignoring" a request for information or assistance. Given the workloads of employees, they are likely to have very different definitions of what amounts to a reasonable amount of time to respond to a non-urgent request.