Granite Staters value work and they value family. They also value the proposition that you shouldn’t have to choose between work and family, if at all possible.

That’s what Senate Bill 416 is all about. The legislation prohibits retaliation against workers who make flexible work arrangement requests, empowering workers and businesses to engage in much needed conversations about workplace flexibility. Right now, businesses are losing great workers because those workers are too afraid to request flexibility. In some cases, workers have been fired or demoted for requesting flexible work arrangements. When reached, flexible work arrangements lead to greater worker retention and greater worker productivity.

Empowering conversations on workplace flexibility strengthens our workforce, our businesses, and our economy. And, like many states, New Hampshire has an aging workforce and demographic. Younger workers request flexibility at higher rates than older generations, and younger workers with young children often request flexibility for child care. Senate Bill 416 sends a strong statement to young professionals to move here, work here, and raise their families here. Moreover, workers of all ages now request flexibility with greater frequency in order to help take care of their aging parents and grandparents. In this new economy, workplace flexibility is essential, and New Hampshire has an opportunity to be a real leader.

Senate Bill 416, a bipartisan bill, is supported by a wide range of stakeholders, including MomsRising NH, the NH Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy, the NH Women’s Foundation, the Stand With Women campaign of NH Citizens Alliance and Granite State Progress Education Fund, the NH AFL-CIO, the NH Taskforce on Work & Family, & Every Child Matters NH.

It has passed the Senate. Recently, in a bipartisan 13-5 vote, the House Labor committee supported Senate Bill 416. Now, the bill heads to the full House floor this coming Wednesday, May 11, 2016. We are hopeful the full House approves Senate Bill 416, continuing our effort to strengthen the Granite State economy and to make New Hampshire an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.

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