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Relating to prohibited adverse employment action against a first responder based on mental illness.
The Legislative Budget Board does not anticipate any fiscal implication to the state.
HB 2969 would prohibit adverse employment action by an employer of a first responder solely because the employer knows or believes that the first responder has a mental illness, except for an appropriate action that is necessary to ensure public safety. Adverse action would include suspension, termination, or take any other adverse employment action. This bill would apply to any public safety employee of a state agency or political subdivision whose duties include responding rapidly to an emergency.
The bill would create a cause of action against an employer, including a governmental
entity, in a judicial or administrative proceeding or as a defense
in a judicial or administrative proceeding. The aggrieved person may seek compensatory damages, reasonable attorney's fees and court costs, and any other appropriate relief. Sovereign
immunity to suit is waived and abolished to the extent of liability
created by the bill's provisions.
Texas Action is neutral on HB 2969 because it neither advances nor hinders any of our liberty principles. This bill would strike an appropriate balance between public safety and protection against discrimination based on mental illness by allowing the employer to make an exception for the welfare of the public.