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News: Bosma decries workers' rights bill

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Republican Brian Bosma is none too happy about the passage of a bill in the House of Representatives Monday aimed at protecting workers' rights.

"In these tough times, the last thing we should do is pile more burdensome and expensive regulations on the backs of Indiana's small businesses," the Minority Leader said in a press release issued Monday. "Unfortunately, that is exactly what the House Democrat majority did this morning in passing House Bill 1166."

The bill Rep. Bosma so ardently opposes is HB 1166, which targets Indiana businesses with between 50 and 100 employees and requires them to give written notice at least 60 days before the date of a closing or layoff of 20 or more employees. An employer who fails to give this notice is subject to a private cause of action by any employee and is responsible for the payment of costs and the employee's legal fees.

While those who support the bill say it gives employees a much-needed advance notice before one-half to one-quarter of a company's workforce is eliminated, something employers should be able to predict 60 days in advance.

Bosma, however, feels differently. "The bill essentially requires struggling employers to keep employees on the payroll for an additional 60 days before economically required downsizing occurs."

"Business conditions can change suddenly, as we have seen, and this onerous regulation could be a back-breaker for a business trying to stay afloat and keep as many people employed as possible. Small businesses are the backbone of Indiana's economy, and this denies them the flexibility they need to survive. This is another bill passed by the Democrat majority that could become a job-killer at exactly the worst possible time."

The bill passed along party lines, with all Democrats voting for the measure and Republicans opposing it. HB 1166 now moves to the Senate.

"I trust common sense will be in greater supply in the Senate," according to Bosma.

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