STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1346
RE: H.B. No. 488
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2019
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts, to which was referred H.B. No. 488, H.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Prohibit written nondisclosure agreements involving sexual assault and sexual harassment as part of an employee's condition of employment under certain circumstances; and
(2) Prohibit employees from retaliating against an employee for disclosing or discussing sexual harassment or sexual assault.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Human Services; Hawai‘i State Commission on the Status of Women; Hawai‘i Civil Rights Commission; SAG-AFTRA Hawaii Local; American Association of University Women of Hawaii; Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii; Fujiwara & Rosenbaum, LLLC; Hawai‘i Women Lawyers; Aloha State Association of the Deaf; Hawaii Women's Coalition; and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Human Resources Development.
Your Committee finds that nondisclosure agreements that prevent disclosure of sexual assault and sexual harassment as a condition of employment silence victims of sexual harassment, sometimes allowing harassers to continue sexual harassment of other employees. There is also a concern that nondisclosure agreements enable repeat offenders who engage in a pattern of sexual harassment. Your Committee also finds that many victims of sexual assault and harassment do not report it because of fear of being retaliated against. This measure will help end the silencing of victims by banning nondisclosure agreements that prevent disclosure of sexual assault and harassment and prohibiting employers from retaliating against an employee for disclosing sexual harassment and assault.
Your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that this measure does not apply to any employees expected to maintain the confidentiality of an investigation as part of their official duties, not just human resources employees; and
(2) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 488, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 488, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Labor, Culture and the Arts,
BRIAN T. TANIGUCHI, Chair