These are all of the Labor bills proposed in the 2018 session. Each bill has its own bill number, please use your browser search feature to find the bill you are interested in. Return to the Colorado home page to pick a different bill category.

None of the text is the opinion of Engage. Each bill's description, pros, and cons are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. If you believe we are missing something, please contact us with your suggestion. Some of these bills have the notation that they have been sent to the chamber's "kill" committee. This means that the leadership has decided to send the bill to the State committee even though it does not belong there based on its subject matter. This committee, in both chambers, is stacked with members from "safe" districts and the idea is to kill the bill without forcing any less safe members to take a hard vote. It is possible for a bill to survive the kill committee, but it is very rare.

Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Major, Medium and Minor. This is a combination of the change the bill would create and the "controversy" level of the bill. Some minor bills that are extending current programs would be major changes if they were introducing something new, but the entire goal here is to allow you to better curate your time. Something uncontroversial likely to pass nearly unanimously that continues a past program may not be worth your time (and please remember, you can still read all of the minor bills!).

HB18-1001: FAMLI Family Medical Leave Insurance Program

Creates Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) to provide partial wage replacement to eligible employees who take leave from work to care for a new child or family member or is unable to work due to their own health condition. The plan is funded by premiums paid by all employees in the state (similar to unemployment insurance). The premium is based on the worker’s wages and must not exceed 0.99%.

Pros

The U.S. is the only one of 41 high-income countries to not offer paid leave to new parents, and one of few nations worldwide to offer no guaranteed paid sick leave. Colorado’s economy functions on the backs of its working families and functions best when those families are able to participate in the economy. When someone has to go on leave, and does not have a salary, they cannot spend in their normal way the economy as a whole suffers. This bill will give those on leave partial wage replacement so they can continue to live as close to a normal life as possible. On top of this economic benefit, this is just the right thing to do. Medical or maternity/paternity leave can be a difficult time and helping these families pay their bills is something all Coloradans can be proud of.

Cons

Some workers will be given paid leave from their employer, but will still be forced to pay into this system and not able to use its benefits. This tax increase also skirts TABOR by excluding it from the TABOR caps and it leaves the director of the program the ability to add a surcharge if needed to make it solvent. This amounts to a blank check to fund this new entitlement program.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1001

HB18-1030: Prohibit Discrimination Labor Union Participation

Bill prohibits an employer from requiring any person to join a union, pay union fees, or assessments to charity or other third-party organization as requirement of employment. Any agreement that violates these provisions is null and void.

*This bill has been sent to the House “kill” committee, state affairs*

KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

So-called all-union employment is unfair to individuals who don’t want to participate, for whatever reason, and are forced to support something they do not believe in. Unions are still welcome to organize, but just won’t be able to force anyone to participate against his or her will.

Cons

Unions are all or nothing propositions. The protections, wages, and other benefits that unions negotiate are for all employees, thus all employees need to contribute. In many ways, this is similar to numerous forms of taxes and fees: we all vote, then we have to abide by what the decision is (and the threshold for all-union employment is MUCH higher than simple majority rule, the HIGHER of majority of eligible voters or ¾ of those who actually voted). So while something like this sounds nice in theory, in practice it is a killer blow to many unions who fight for their members rights every day. Being in a democracy means abiding by the decisions of the electorate, even when we don’t agree.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1030

HB18-1031: Employer Entry FPPA Fire and Police Pension Association Defined Benefit System

From the police officers’ and firefighters’ reform commission, this streamlines the process for employers who are affiliated with the fire and police pension association and provides a money purchase plan for its employees. It consolidates the need for employers to apply for separate plans into one application and gives the pension association board more flexibility to determine the rules that govern participation by employers in the plan.

PASSED

Pros

This cuts some red tape, by eliminating the need for multiple applications, and gives the board more flexibility rather than relying on state laws to govern the plan.

Cons

The state’s heavy involvement in this pension plan (and the difficulties the state is having with multiple pension plans) make it all the more important for the state to be the one determining the rules through its elected officials.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1031

HB18-1056: FPPA Fire and Police Pension Association Statewide Standard Health History Form

From the Police Officers’ and Firefighters’ Pension Reform Committee. Every member of the fire and police pension association (FPPA) is required to complete a health history form upon employment. This bill specifies that all new hires are required to complete the form, that the employer must require the form to be filed, that the board of FPPA can adopt an electronic format, and that anyone who omits information may be disqualified from receiving disability or survivor benefits (previously only lying on the form was in the law).

PASSED HOUSE

Pros

This just cleans up some language to make sure all parties are aware of what is required, provides the ability to make the form electronic, and closes a loophole on omission in terms of a member filling out the form inaccurately.

Cons

The FPPA board might take the ability to go after members who omit information as a license to figure out ways to deny benefits.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1056

HB18-1106: Minimum Wage Requirement Waiver

Allows employees and employers to waive the minimum wage requirement and negotiate a wage instead.

*This bill has been assigned to the House’s “kill” committee, state affairs*

KILLED IN HOUSE COMMITTEE

Pros

This allows employers and employees more flexibility with part-time and supplemental jobs that aren’t designed to support a full living wage. Right now the increased costs associated with needing to pay the minimum wage for these kinds of jobs, where both parties are fine with lower wages, are being passed on to consumers.

Cons

In addition to questionable legality (the minimum wage is a federal law, in addition to the state’s own constitutional one), this bill opens the door for employers to pay whatever they’d like. There aren’t going to be nice sit-downs where everyone decides on a mutually beneficial arrangement. Employers are going to offer take it or leave it terms and look for someone else if the employee doesn’t want to get paid less.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1106

HB18-1111: Modifications to PERA Public Employees' Retirement Association Board Of Trustees

Changes the composition of the board of trustees of PERA by removing several elected positions and replacing them with experts appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate. Also eliminates any restrictions on the request for information from a board member to PERA.

Pros

PERA is in a crisis state and we need to bring experts in managing funds like this onto the board to help stabilize it. It’s already a pretty big board (14 people), so it makes sense to keep the size the same but remove some of the elected positions (without entirely removing anyone’s voice from these areas), so that the board is better able to make the tough decisions required to save PERA.

Cons

This is an attack on the power of the actual would-be retirees to have a voice in the management of their retirement plan. Currently the board has 9 members who come from this pool, three from the state division, four from education, one from local government and one from judiciary. This bill changes that to two, one, one, and one, changing the balance of power on the board from 9-2 retirees-3 experts to 5-2-7, tilting the board into the hands of experts with no personal stake in PERA’s management. Oh, and we already have experts on the board, three of them. So this bill doesn’t do anything new in that area.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1111

HB18-1230: Creation of Work Status for Immigrants

Creates a “purple” card in the department of labor that allows undocumented workers to work legally in the state if they meet certain conditions. They must have no felony convictions in prior three years, been brought to the United States as a minor, and paid state income taxes for two years prior to application.

Pros

The more we can bring these law-abiding residents out of the shadows, the better off we will all be. These would be individuals brought here as children who are paying their taxes. This will give them the opportunity to fully contribute to our society, as many immigrants have throughout this nation’s history. Almost all studies of this matter have shown that undocumented workers do not take jobs away from legal residents.

Cons

The federal government has final say over immigration in this country, not Colorado. The state cannot waive a wand and make an illegal resident legal. Furthermore, this will encourage more illegal immigrants to come to Colorado and take advantage of the lax law. You don’t stop illegal activity by encouraging it.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB18-1230

SB 18-044: Veterans Employment Preference By Private Employer

Allows private employers to adopt a written policy of preference to veterans when hiring, promoting, or retaining employees as long as the veterans are equally qualified.

PASSED SENATE

Pros

Veterans have unique skills honed under pressure and make great employees. This law allows employers to have a stated preference for veterans so long as everyone is aware of it and the veteran is equally qualified. Finding veterans jobs post-military is greatly in the public interest and this helps. Codifying into law makes the practice fairer, as it requires employers to transparent about their hiring practices.

Cons

This bill codifies a system for preferring veterans where simple in-house thoughts worked fine. Now someone who either isn’t aware of this law or just has an informal preference for veterans is operating contrary to the law.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on SB18-044