SB 21 - 087
Agriculture Worker
Bill of Rights

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In 2021, we worked along with 90 coalition partners to write and pass Colorado Senate Bill 21-087: Agricultural Workers' Rights. This bill was signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis on June 25, 2021!

Colorado Senate Bill 21-087: Concerning Agricultural Workers Rights


Background:
Historically, agricultural workers have been left out of the most basic of workplace protections such as meal and rest breaks, overtime pay, the right to collective action, and even guaranteed minimum wage pay. Their exclusion is linked to institutional racism and economic inequities that go back hundreds of years. In Colorado agricultural workers are between 65-73% BIPOC, including Latinx immigrants. The industry is dominated by immigrants and other populations facing inequities who must work under grueling conditions and long hours. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted that farmworkers lack basic rights and protections. It vital that the state step in to ensure agricultural workers have the same basic protections as other workers in Colorado.

 

The law establishes:

  • fairer wages,

  • a right to collective action and ability to form unions,

  • protections against overwork and heat stress,

  • a prohibition against the injurious short handled hoe and limitations on extensive stooped labor

  • ability to access key service providers and basic necessities,

  • retaliation protections,

  • and a forum for public participation.

Sponsored by Senator Jessie Danielson, Senator Dominick Moreno, Representative Yadira Caravello, and Representative Karen McCormick, the bill had robust Democratic support in both the House and the Senate and the support of the Governor’s office