Senate Bill 176, the “Protecting Opportunities and Workers Rights Act,” has been moving forward in the state legislature and we need your help to tell lawmakers to vote NO.
This bill completely upends Colorado’s established system of civil rights laws and increases litigation costs for employers and workers. Problematic provisions of the bill include:
• Broadening the definition of a hostile work environment to anything that “undermines a person’s sense of well-being,” which could lead to frivolous claims.
• Making employers responsible for the conduct of independent contractors, even though employers cannot exercise direct control or supervision over these individuals.
• Contradicting federal law by changing the standard for which claims can be considered discriminatory, removing the requirement that conduct must be “severe or pervasive” in order to file a claim.
• Removing the ability to reach confidential settlements, which will encourage the likelihood of drawn-out, costly lawsuits.
• Requiring employers to create a discrimination program with “documented success” – without defining parameters or acknowledging any current policies businesses have enacted.
If passed, this bill will lead to costly new lawsuits for employers at a time when employers are still struggling to recover from the economic fallout of the pandemic. The bill even exempts state government from complying with the litigation due to the potential for expensive litigation.
SB 176 is expected to be heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee soon. We need your help in contacting members of the senate to tell them to vote “NO” on Senate Bill 176.