Associated Builders and Contractors Supports Governor Polis’ Vetoes

Associated Builders and Contractors – Rocky Mountain Chapter (ABC), a statewide association of commercial and industrial construction general contractors, specialty contractors and suppliers, has announced its support for Governor Polis’ vetoes of both HB24-1008 Wage Claims Construction Industry Contractors (referred to the ‘Wage Theft’ bill) and HB24-1260 Prohibition Against Employee Discipline (a ‘Captive Audience Speech Regulation’ bill).

Jack Tate, president & CEO of ABC Rocky Mountain, affirmed, “ABC’s members strongly oppose wage theft of any form in our industry. We recognize that it is indeed a grave issue in Colorado’s economy. Each year, hundreds of workers across the state fall victim to wage theft, meaning that they are paid less than the full wages they are legally entitled to receive. We also understand that wage theft disproportionately affects low-wage workers, women, people of color, and immigrant workers.

“We support the veto of HB24-1008 because it went awry in targeting a single industry and inflicting consequences on all participants – even the 99+% of good actors. Simply, to use a metaphor, such a law would bruise every apple in the barrel to manage a couple of bad apples at the bottom. Finally, these consequences would have manifested themselves in higher construction costs to customers and the squeezing out of small businesses- many of them minority-owned.”

Finally, “ABC believes that strengthening enforcement, increasing scope and funding for the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, and protecting worker rights are crucial steps to combat this injustice.”

ABC Rocky Mountain also strongly supported the veto of HB24-1260. This bill was a primary initiative of unions and trial lawyers, seeking to discourage employers having communications and meetings that included political and public policy discussion, including talks about the regulatory environment, labor policy or labor unions.

Jack Tate, president & CEO, of ABC Rocky Mountain, praised the veto: “By threatening employers with civil liability for speaking with their employees about a range of important issues, like whether certain candidates for office are likely to be good or bad for the employer and its own livelihood, or whether to support or oppose legislation or ballot initiatives concerning a variety of issues impacting both the employer and employees, including public health and safety, economic items, taxes, and more, advocates of the bill were hoping to create a one-sided discussion and an impediment to sharing factual information.”

Such factual information would include, for example, the costs of unionization, such as employees’ need to pay dues for representation, unions’ interference with employer-employee relationships, unions’ prioritization of the collective over the individual employees, and the financial impacts on employers.

Tate continued: “The veto of this anti-free speech bill affirms that employees of a company should not be deprived of complete information so as to be able make informed choices about public policies affecting the company and its future.”

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