Bill with controversial undercover provision clears House

Posted April 22, 2015

— Landing a job just to conduct an investigation of your new employer would be illegal under a measure the state House passed 99-19 Wednesday night.

House Bill 405, which cleared committee Tuesday, now goes to the Senate. Its sponsors say the measure is aimed at protecting businesses from theft of physical and intellectual property.

But while the majority of the measure is not controversial, animal rights groups complain that it could stifle efforts to bring food safety and animal cruelty violations to light. Under the bill, employers would be able to sue employees who get hired solely to conduct investigations.

Hoke butterball farm hidden video Bill could curb certain undercover investigations "This is an 'ag-gag' bill," said Rep. Pricey Harrison, D-Guilford, using the pejorative term to describe legislation shielding factory farms from investigations.

Backers of the bill across the ideological spectrum disagreed.

"Agriculture does not have anything to hide," declared Rep. Jimmy Dixon, R-Duplin, noting that the bill addressed situations in workplaces ranging from retail establishments to farms to hospitals.

The prohibitions in the bill, said Rep. Rick Glazier, D-Cumberland, would not apply to journalists or employees who genuinely stumbled upon a problem. Rather, he said, those affected would be "a small amount of folks who, in my view, are fraudulently taking their employers' money."


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  • Timothy Watson Apr 23, 2015
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    Yes, call it what it really is !! Why do they (GA) think we are stupid? This only protects businesses that violate food and safety laws in processing plants around the state.

  • Sammy Macloud Apr 23, 2015
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    "aimed at protecting businesses from theft of physical and intellectual property"

    BS!!! It's AIMED at businesses being able to get away with mistreatment in the name of profits!!!!