Passage of SB 176 a Bad Message to Send Small-Business Owners

Date: May 24, 2021

How is discriminating against employers any rational person’s idea of ‘social justice’?

DENVER, May 24, 2021—Passage by the State Senate Appropriations of SB 176 today drew pointed criticism from the state’s representative association for Colorado small-business owners.

“Let’s hope this needlessly punitive, small-business-killing bad idea dies a legislative death by calendar, rumors are for an early adjournment,” said Tony Gagliardi, Colorado state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the state and nation’s largest small-business association.

“Senate Bill 176 defines a hostile work environment as anything that ‘undermines a person’s sense of well-being.’ What the hell does that even mean? The measure also calls for doing away with having to prove the behavior is ‘pervasive or severe’ in the workplace. A single instance can be enough for a charge to be brought based upon ‘hurt feelings.’

“SB 176 is an unnecessary expansion of already existing employee protections,” said Gagliardi. “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.

“The broad definitions in this legislation create too many opportunities for unreasonable grievances that may overwhelm a legitimate process and waste precious time and resources for both employers and employees. At a time when Colorado lags behind its neighboring states in the recovery of jobs, raising the cost of labor for employers with superfluous, overreaching legislation is not in the best interest of our communities or our state economy.”

Contact: Tony Gagliardi, Colorado State Director, [email protected],
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]

Keep up with the latest Colorado small-business news at 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 Colorado
1700 Lincoln Street, 17th Floor
Denver, CO 80203
Twitter: @NFIB_CO
Facebook: NFIB.CO

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