041224CM0537reducedSPRINGFIELD —State Senator Robert Peters advanced legislation out of the Senate Thursday to ban employers from requiring workers to attend meetings regarding political or religious matters.

“The National Labor Relations Board's top lawyer suggested that mandatory meetings about unions, politics or religion should be illegal under federal labor laws,” said Peters (D-Chicago). “If they are not going to take action, we will.”

The National Labor Relations Board's general counsel issued a memorandum outlining a plan to advocate for mandatory meetings concerning union representation, political opinions and religious matters unlawful under federal labor law. There has been no action following the memorandum, which was issued in 2022.

Senate Bill 3649 will prohibit Illinois employers from requiring employees to attend employer-sponsored meetings where the primary purpose is to communicate the employer’s opinions on religious or political matters. Further, the legislation safeguards employees from adverse actions for refusing such employer-sponsored meetings.

“There should be a fair and neutral connection between employers and employees,” said Peters. “Forcing employees to attend meetings about the employer's political or religious views crosses a line.”

Senate Bill 3649 now awaits further consideration in the House.