Colorado has done this to employers before and wants to again with SB 176
DENVER, March 31, 2021—Colorado’s leading small-business association today called on members of the state Senate Judiciary Committee to loudly and forcefully reject Senate Bill 176 when it comes up for its first committee vote tomorrow, Thursday, April 1, at 1:30 p.m.
“The ears of Main Street business owners will be keenly attuned to what the Judiciary Committee does with SB 176 tomorrow. It will tell them everything about how the Colorado General Assembly views the contributions they make not only to the economy but also to society as a whole,” said Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).
“What path will the Judiciary Committee clear for Colorado? A safe one back toward good, old-fashioned Rocky Mountain common sense or a dangerous one toward a hellishly stupid idea from California that no other state has dared venture?
Among its more insidious provisions, SB 176 would allow an allegedly aggrieved employee to circumvent the Colorado Civil Rights process and directly file a civil action against an employer in a state or county court for such things as undermining “a person’s sense of well-being.”
This is not the first time Colorado has inexplicably gone after the people who employ half of the state’s workers and are the central pillar of every community, according to Gagliardi. In 2013, the Legislature passed and then-Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law House Bill 1136, which essentially switched EEO enforcement from federal court to Colorado state court, where experience levels were considerably less.
Nothing has changed. In an action alert sent to its Colorado membership this week asking them to call or email their legislators and lobby for a ‘No’ vote on SB 176, NFIB said, “This bill is an unnecessary expansion of already existing employee protections. The growing risks of litigation are becoming a concern for small businesses who may lack the resources to maintain legal counsel or to sustain expensive and time-consuming grievances and lawsuits, many of which may be without merit. Resolving conflicts is part of doing business as an employer. With fundamental employee protections already in place, the best outcomes for both businesses and employees would rely on evolving business practices that we support to create healthy, productive, and successful workforces for our businesses.”
Keep up with the latest Colorado small-business news at www.nfib.com/colorado or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_CO or on Facebook @NFIB.CO
For more than 77 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since its founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit nfib.com.
1700 Lincoln Street, 17th Floor
Denver, CO 80203