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Agricultural Workers' Rights

Concerning agricultural workers' rights, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2021 Regular Session
Labor & Employment
Bill Summary

The act:

  • Prohibits an agricultural employer from retaliating against any person, including an agricultural employee who is asserting protected rights, and allows an aggrieved person to assert a claim in district court or with the division of labor standards and statistics (division) in the department of labor and employment for alleged retaliation;
  • Removes the exemption of agricultural employers and employees from the Colorado "Labor Peace Act" and authorizes agricultural employees to organize and join labor unions; engage in protected, concerted activity; and engage in collective bargaining;
  • Removes the exemption of agricultural labor from state and local minimum wage laws;
  • Establishes a separate minimum wage for agricultural employees engaged in the range production of livestock on the open range;
  • Requires the director of the division to promulgate rules to establish the overtime pay of agricultural employees, to implement procedures concerning retaliation claims, to ensure access to key service providers, and for overwork protections for agricultural workers;
  • Grants agricultural employees meal breaks and rest periods throughout each work period, consistent with protections for other employees;
  • Requires agricultural employers to provide agricultural employees with access and transportation to key service providers;
  • Authorizes agricultural employees to have visitors at employer-provided housing without interference from other persons;
  • Requires agricultural employers to provide overwork and health protections to agricultural employees;
  • Prohibits the use of the short-handled for agricultural labor except in specific circumstances;
  • During a public health emergency, requires an agricultural employer to provide extra protections and increased safety precautions for agricultural employees;
  • Creates rights, remedies, and enforcement actions for aggrieved agricultural employees, whistleblowers, and key service providers; and
  • Creates the agricultural work advisory committee to study and analyze agricultural wages and working conditions.

$474,657 is appropriated from the employment support fund to the department of labor and employment to implement the act, of which amount $38, 282 is reappropriated to the department of law to provide legal services to the department of labor and employment. Additionally, $193,882 is appropriated from the general fund to the department of agriculture for use by the plant industry division to implement the act.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details