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HB 20-1415 - Prohibits Employers from Discriminating Against Workers Raising Concerns About Workplace Safety - Colorado Key Vote

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Title: Prohibits Employers from Discriminating Against Workers Raising Concerns About Workplace Safety

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Title: Prohibits Employers from Discriminating Against Workers Raising Concerns About Workplace Safety

Vote Smart's Synopsis:

Vote to concur with senate amendments and pass a bill that prohibits employers from discriminating or retaliating against workers who raise concerns about workplace threats to health or safety, among other provisions.

Highlights:

 

  • Prohibits a principal from discriminating, taking adverse action, or retaliating against a worker who raises a concern about workplace violations of government health or safety rules or threats to health and safety related to a public health emergency to the principal, the principal’s agent, other workers, a government agency, or the public (Sec. 1).

  • Defines “principal” as an employer, foreign labor contractor, migratory field labor contractor, crew leader, the state of Colorado, local governments, political subdivisions of the state, or an entity that contracts with 5 or more independent contractors in the state each year (Sec. 1).

  • Prohibits a principal from requiring workers to sign agreements or abide by workplace policies that prevent the worker from disclosing information about workplace health and safety practices or hazards related to a public health emergency (Sec. 1).

  • Prohibits a principal from discriminating, taking adverse action, or retaliating against a worker who voluntarily wears their own personal protective equipment (PPE) in the workplace, provided that (Sec. 1):

    • The PPE provides a higher level of protection than the equipment provided by the principal;

    • Is recommended by a public health agency with jurisdiction over the workplace; and

    • Does not render the worker incapable of performing their job.

  • Requires the principal to post a notice of a worker’s rights under this article in a conspicuous location on the principal’s premises (Sec. 1).

  • Authorizes aggrieved individuals and whistleblowers to file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics within 2 years of the alleged violation and requires the division to either investigate the alleged principal violations or authorize the aggrieved individual to proceed with action in district court (Sec. 1).

  • Defines “whistleblower” as a worker with knowledge of an alleged violation of this article or the workers representative (Sec. 1).

  • Authorizes the division to award reasonable attorney fees, impose fines, reinstate or rehire a worker, or pay the worker front pay if rehiring is infeasible, if an investigation yields a determination that a violation has occurred (Sec. 1).

  • Authorizes aggrieved individuals to commence an action in district court against a principal within 90 days after exhausting administrative remedies (Sec. 1).

  • Authorizes a court that finds a respondent engaged in discriminatory, adverse, or retaliatory employment practices to order relief including but not limited to (Sec. 1):

    • Reinstatement or rehiring of a worker, with or without back pay;

    • The greater of either $10,000 or any lost pay resulting from the violation; and

    • Any other equitable relief the court deems appropriate.

  • Authorizes the plaintiff to recover additional compensatory and punitive damages against a defendant that engaged in an intentional discriminatory, adverse, or retaliatory employment practice (Sec. 1).

  • Authorizes a whistleblower who has exhausted the administrative remedies to bring a civil action against a principal on behalf of the state in district court and requires the whistleblower to give written notice to the division of the specific provisions alleged to have been violated (Sec. 1).

  • Authorizes a court that finds that a violation has occurred to enter a judgement against the principal of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 for each violation, and for appropriate injunctive and equitable relief (Sec. 1).

  • Appropriates $270,153 to the Department of Labor and Employment to implement the provisions of this bill (Sec. 3).

Title: Prohibits Employers from Discriminating Against Workers Raising Concerns About Workplace Safety

Title: Prohibits Employers from Discriminating Against Workers Raising Concerns About Workplace Safety

Title: Prohibits Employers from Discriminating Against Workers Raising Concerns About Workplace Safety

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