RELEASE: Colorado Legislators Introduce Landmark Bill to Safeguard Worker Freedom

HB24-1260, The Worker Freedom Act, giving employees the right to refuse certain mandatory meetings at work without retaliation, is sponsored by Majority Leader Duran, Representative Hernández and Senator Danielson

DENVER, CO – Today, Wednesday, March 20th, a group of Colorado legislators, labor unions, and community organizations will introduce a landmark bill designed to protect the rights of workers in the face of employer-mandated meetings on political or religious beliefs. If enacted, HB24-1260, also known as the Worker Freedom Actwould allow workers to refuse mandatory political and religious meetings in the workplace, which proponents say are used to instill fear and intimidate workers.

WHAT:    Press conference hosted by Majority Leader Duran, Representative Hernández and Senator Danielson, labor unions, and community organizations.  The bill will also be heard in the Business Affairs & Labor Committee later the same day upon adjournment of the House of Representatives morning.

WHEN: Press conference starts at 8:15 AM on Wednesday, March 20th      

WHEREColorado State Capitol West Foyer

INTERVIEWS: Dozens of workers who have experienced captive audience meetings will be testifying in the committee after the press conference, and will be available for interviews throughout the morning. Bill sponsors will also be available.

Inspired by successful legislation in Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, New York, and Oregon, this proposed law seeks to safeguard the rights of the state’s workforce while keeping employer freedom of speech intact.

“This bill does not infringe on the free speech of employers.” said Majority Leader Duran, “Mandatory meetings where political or religious beliefs are the primary topic aren’t something that anyone should be subjected to in order to keep their job and put food on the table. It’s important that employers have freedom of speech and their employees have freedom of choice to attend these meetings.”

Workers in support of the legislation that would target these “Captive Audience Meetings” say that the freedom to refuse to attend them is sorely needed. Workers say these meetings are often used as a mechanism for employee intimidation, and in some cases, even violating other existing labor laws that protect workers’ right to form a union.

“We’ve heard from workers across the state who have been required to attend meetings like this,” said Senator Danielson, “and their stories are deeply troubling. Working people in Colorado show up every day to do their jobs and keep our economy running, not to be intimidated or coerced by their employer’s political or religious beliefs. It creates a toxic work environment that’s counterproductive for everyone. This bill would allow Colorado workers to hold bad employers accountable.”

“I’ve been forced to attend several of these meetings,” said Len Harris, former Starbucks employee, “it was scary and intimidating. Our managers brought us into a room and made us feel like we had done something incredibly wrong for even talking about a union. We were demeaned and disrespected, and some of us felt like our jobs were on the line, even though we hadn’t broken any rules or laws.”

Legislation like this is necessary to safeguard workers’ rights and keep a fair dynamic in the workplace. The bill ensures that workers can not opt-out of meetings related to their job duties or meetings that are required under other areas of law like sexual harassment and other trainings.

“At the end of the day, this is about fairness in the workplace,” said Rep. Hernández, “if these meetings aren’t about work that people are doing in their jobs, workers shouldn’t be forced to attend them. This will create a more free and fair workplace for everyone. It will allow hard-working Coloradans to focus on the reason why they show up to work every day: to provide for their kids and put food on the table.”

Currently, the bill is making its way through the committee process and has gained broad support among workers and advocacy organizations. It will be heard on Wednesday, March 20th in the Business Affairs and Labor Committee, where workers who have experienced these meetings will be in attendance to speak.


The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 105 is the largest healthcare union in Colorado, uniting more than 8,000 healthcare, property service, and airport workers in the state. Our union is part of the fastest-growing union in North America, whose 2 million members make up the largest healthcare union, the largest property services union, and the second-largest public services union.

Press Contacts:

David Fernandez, ‭(720) 276-0892‬, dfernandez@seiu105.org

Kyle Gawroriski (303) 589-3356, kgawroriski@seiu105.org 

Pryce Batey, (303) 999-6088, pbatey@seiu105.org