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C95B15E5AD561568872583D1000035EA Hearing Summary




PUBLIC
BILL SUMMARY For HB19-1267

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date Apr 2, 2019      
Location HCR 0112



HB19-1267 - Amended, referred to the Committee of the Whole


06:02:25 PM  

The committee recessed.

06:17:56 PM  

The committee returned to order. Representatives Singer and Froelich, prime sponsors, presented House Bill 19-1267, concerning criminal offenses for failure to pay wages, and, in connection therewith, implementing recommendations from the Colorado Human Trafficking Council.  Committee members received amendments L.001 (Attachment H), L.002 (Attachment I), and L.003 (Attachment J). Representative Singer explained the effect of the bill and discussed its need. Representative Froelich provided additional input on the bill's merits. Discussion ensued regarding how the bill addresses disputes over the work performed.

06:31:24 PM  

The following persons testified regarding HB 19-1267:

Ms. Alondra Rodriguez, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. She explained that she works in construction, and there are times she does not receive pay.

Mr. Gerardo Medrano, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Medrano related his experience with wage theft.

Ms. Pamela Garcia, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. She related her experience with wage theft. Discussion ensued regarding the frequency with which these witnesses experience wage theft.

06:56:43 PM  

Mr. Juan Arellano, representing himself, testified in support of HB 19-1267. Mr. Arellano discussed carpenters who are not paid for their work.

Mr. Mark Johnson, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Johnson discussed the ability to commit wage theft without penalty.

Mr. Jake Lily, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Lily discussed the scope of wage theft.

Ms. Samantha Jardin, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Jardin discussed wage theft in agriculture, and recapped some cases of which she is aware. Mr. Lily responded to questions regarding the ability to address wage theft through existing law.

07:16:40 PM  

Mr. Christian Gardner-Wood, representing the Boulder County District Attorney's Office and the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, testified in support of HB 19-1267. Mr. Gardner-Wood discussed the lack of laws to address wage theft.

Ms. Ruthanne Lundquist, representing herself, testified regarding the bill. Ms. Lundquist discussed companies that compete with her company in the construction industry that engage in unethical and illegal hiring practices.

Mr. Arnold Hanuman, representing the Colorado District Attorneys' Council, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Hanuman discussed a package of legislation that addresses human trafficking and wage theft, and addressed questions raised during earlier conversation.

Ms. Maria Trujillo, representing the Human Trafficking Council, testified in support of the bill. She provided background on the creation of the bill. Mr. Gardner-Wood responded to questions regarding the effect of the forthcoming amendments. Discussion ensued regarding how the bill will be enforced.

07:46:20 PM  

Ms. Tristan Gorman, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, explained that the bar is neutral on the bill if amendment L.001 is adopted.

Mr. Nicholas Colglazier, representing the Colorado Competitive Council, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Colglazier called for a full stakeholder process in creating legislation to address wage theft, and supported portions of HB 19-1267.

Ms. Susan Schaecher, representing Associated General Contractors and Building Jobs for Colorado, testified in opposition to the bill. Ms. Schaecher objected to certain definitions in the bill, and called for further stakeholder input on future legislation. Discussion ensued regarding definitions in the bill, as modified by the proposed amendments. Ms. Gorman responded to questions regarding the lack of amendment for a particular portion in the bill, and the statute of limitations for the crimes subject to the bill. Discussion returned to the definitions in the bill. Discussion followed regarding the potential efficacy of the bill in assisting the victims of wage theft in recovering their withheld wages. Discussion turned to how the bill will treat instances where payment is based upon a job rather than a wage.

08:13:36 PM  

Ms. Kelly Dore, representing the National Human Trafficking Survivor Coalition, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Dore discussed human trafficking and the costs of wage theft.

Mr. John LeBlanc, representing himself and the Direct Action Team, testified in support of HB 19-1267. He recounted his experience with wage theft, and the work of his organization.

Mr. Diego Bleifuss-Prados, representing the Direct Action Team, testified in support of the bill. He discussed the work of the team, and spoke to the merits of the bill.

Mr. David Seligman, representing Towards Justice, testified in support of the bill. He discussed the importance of enforcement to addressing wage theft, and addressed questions raised during earlier discussion.

08:35:53 PM  

Mr. Seligman continued to address questions raised during earlier testimony.

08:54:45 PM  

Ms. Debbie Olander, representing the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, testified in support of HB 19-1267. Ms. Olander discussed the pernicious effects of wage theft, and the misclassification of employees.

Mr. Josh Christensen, representing the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, testified in support of the bill. He discussed wage theft in the carpentry profession, and an incidence of on-the-job injury involving his father.

Mr. James Gleeson, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Gleeson discussed his experiences with wage theft, and recent trends in wage theft. He also discussed labor brokers, and the merits of the bill.

Mr. Angel Esparza, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. He discussed the scope of wage theft in Colorado. He noted some work sites that have been host to wage theft.

09:12:38 PM  

Ms. Eleanor Cabell, representing herself, testified in support of HB 19-1267. She discussed the effect of wage theft prevention on border security.

Mr. Gustavo Maldonado, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Maldonado discussed his experiences with wage theft, and the practices of labor brokers. Mr. Maldonado responded to questions regarding the perception of Colorado's labor laws.

Mr. Doug Hicks, representing the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Hicks related incidents of wage theft.

09:24:33 PM  

The committee considered amendments L.001, L.002, and L.003.



09:25:54 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.001
Moved Galindo
Seconded McKean
Benavidez
Bockenfeld
Carver
Galindo
Gonzales-Gutierrez
McKean
Roberts
Soper
Tipper
Herod
Weissman
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection


09:36:34 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.002
Moved Galindo
Seconded Tipper
Benavidez No
Bockenfeld Yes
Carver Yes
Galindo Yes
Gonzales-Gutierrez Yes
McKean Yes
Roberts Yes
Soper No
Tipper Yes
Herod Yes
Weissman Yes
YES: 9   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


09:38:37 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.003
Moved Herod
Seconded Galindo
Benavidez No
Bockenfeld Yes
Carver No
Galindo Yes
Gonzales-Gutierrez Yes
McKean No
Roberts Yes
Soper No
Tipper Yes
Herod Yes
Weissman Yes
YES: 7   NO: 4   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS
09:38:38 PM  
Representatives Singer and Froelich provided closing remarks in support of HB 19-1267. Various committee members provided their positions on the bill.


10:05:52 PM
Motion Refer House Bill 19-1267, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Herod
Seconded Galindo
Benavidez Yes
Bockenfeld Yes
Carver Yes
Galindo Yes
Gonzales-Gutierrez Yes
McKean No
Roberts Yes
Soper Yes
Tipper Yes
Herod Yes
Weissman Yes
Final YES: 10   NO: 1   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS






Pursuant to HJR20-1007, the Second Regular Session of the 72nd General Assembly is Temporarily Adjourned until 10:00 a.m., Monday, March 30, 2020. 

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The legislature will meet in limited session on Monday, March 30th. The Capitol will be open for the duration of the session for those with essential business related to the session. The building will not be available for public tours. People without essential business are encouraged to access the session through the General Assembly website and Colorado Channel.  Anybody with essential business related to the session will be required to practice appropriate social distancing measures.