These are all of the Labor bills proposed in the 2019 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, arguments for, and arguments against are our best effort at describing what each bill does, arguments for, and arguments against the bill. The long description is hidden by design, you can click on it to expand it if you want to read more detail about 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.

Prime sponsors are given after each bill, with Senate sponsors in () and House sponsors in []. They are color-coded by party.

Each bill has been given a "magnitude" category: Major, Medium, Minor, and Technical. 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!). Technical bills are here to round out the list. They are non-substantive changes.

House

Click on the House bill title to jump to its section:

MAJOR

HB19-1025 Limits on Job Applicant Criminal History Inquiries
HB19-1058 Income Tax Benefits for Family Leave

MEDIUM

MINOR

Senate

Click on the Senate bill title to jump to its section:

MAJOR

MEDIUM

SB19-056 Veterans Employment Preference by Private Employer

MINOR

HB19-1025 Limits on Job Applicant Criminal History Inquiries [Melton, Herod]

Short Description:

Prohibits employers from advertising or placing a statement in an employment application that a person with a criminal history may not apply to a position or from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on an initial application, with exemptions for some jobs and employers. Employers may still obtain an applicant’s criminal history at any time.

Prohibits employers from advertising or placing a statement in an employment application that a person with a criminal history may not apply to a position or from inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history on an initial application, with exemptions for some jobs and employers. These exemptions include where the law prohibits a person with a criminal history from being employed in the job, where the employer is participating in a program to encourage employment of people with criminal histories, and when the employer is required by law to conduct a criminal record check for a position. Employers may still obtain an applicant’s criminal history at any time.

Arguments For:

Nearly one in three Americans has a criminal history, and in Colorado more than 1.5 million people are in the state criminal record database. This often creates a significant barrier to future employment which puts these rehabilitated Americans in a difficult situation where they cannot earn good money at a steady job, which makes it more likely they will reoffend. We need to break the cycle by giving them a chance to make a good first impression. Employers can still check their criminal history prior to offering a job.

Arguments Against:

This interferes with the ability of employers to choose what kinds of people they want working for them, a choice that any employer has the right to make. If they have decided they aren’t interested in people with criminal backgrounds, all this bill does is waste everyone’s time: the applicant who isn’t going to get the job and the employer who won’t give it to them.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB19-1025

HB19-1058 Income Tax Benefits for Family Leave [Landgraf, Beckman]

Short Description:

Creates leave savings accounts, which operate in a manner similar to a 401k with an employee contributing pretax wages that an employer can match. Money in the account is tax deductible, as is interest earned on it, but must be spent on eligible leave expenses. Also creates a tax credit for employers offering paid leave for the same eligible categories.

Long Description:

Creates leave savings accounts, which operate in a manner similar to a 401k with an employee contributing pretax wages, maximum of $5,000 annually, that an employer can match. Money in the account is tax deductible, as is interest earned on it, but must be spent on eligible leave expenses, which include: childbirth/newborn care, placement of child for adoption or foster care, caring for an immediate family member in serious condition, a serious health condition that makes the individual unable to work in their job, any qualifying exigency as identified by the federal Department of Labor arising out of military deployment. Individuals must submit an annual report to the state with their taxes detailing how the fund was used (form to be created by state). Financial institutions do not have to do anything new for the program. Using the funds in any unapproved manner makes them subject to being taken by the state along with a 10% penalty. Also creates a tax credit for employers offering paid leave for the same eligible categories. Credit is 50% of amount paid for those with fewer than 50 employees and 25% for others with at least 6 weeks and up to 12 weeks of pay.

Arguments For:

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 allows employees to save money toward these events so that they will have at least some income replacement, as well as a way for employers to contribute (and increase the desirability of their benefits package to prospective employees). It does so in a way that is entirely voluntary and does not drain money out of our economy or disadvantage workers and employers who already offer paid leave (as well as offer incentives for employers to offer paid leave).

Arguments Against:

This is an inadequate fig leaf that may do very little to help someone in an unpaid leave situation. First, someone who would struggle in such a scenario is likely to be unable to take large amounts out of their paychecks to put into accounts that they can never access unless a true emergency arises. Even if the person dies, the money in the account goes back to the state (but there’s no penalty, how nice). Second, if someone does manage to put some money into an account like this and does somehow manage to convince their employer to match it, how far is that money going to go in a situation where they face unpaid leave?

The state should not be in the business of coddling people who are unable to save up money for emergencies (or plan ahead for having children). Coloradans who make wise financial choices and don’t live beyond their means shouldn’t be disadvantaged when it comes to tax incentives.

How Should Your Representatives Vote on HB19-1058

SB19-056 Veterans Employment Preference by Private Employer (Hisey) [Carver]

Short Description:

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.

Long Description: n/a

Arguments For:

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.

Arguments Against:

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 SB19-056