Protect Colorado’s Future Submits Over 250,000 Signatures To Support Colorado Workers

It’s been a busy week here at Protect Colorado’s Future.  

On Monday, we were one of several groups that submitted petitions to the Secretary of State to place initiatives on the November ballot. We are proud to say that over 130,000 Coloradans joined us in signing petitions on behalf of the Just Cause initiative, a common sense measure that will protect good workers from being fired arbitrarily. Many voters who signed the petitions were shocked to learn that in Colorado you can be fired “at will” for taking a sick day, for your political views or even for having a bad haircut. With the unemployment rate in Colorado higher than it’s been in almost 3 years, we believe this measure is critically important to Colorado’s families and we are looking forward to seeing it on the ballot.  

Last week we also submitted petitions signed by more than 123,000 Coloradans for the Colorado Corporate Fraud initiative, a proposal aimed at holding corporate executives accountable for the fraud that happens within their companies. Colorado taxpayers spend billions every year cleaning up the messes made by corporate criminals. One only has to look at the case of Joe Nacchio, former CEO of the Denver-based communications company Qwest, to see why this initiative is important to Colorado. As the New York Times explained in an article on the issue earlier this year, this measure would bring “unprecedented individual accountability” and make Colorado a leader in the crackdown on corporate crime.  

These are just two of the issues we are working on this year. As we get closer to November, you will also hear about our opposition to Amendments 47, 49 and initiative 59, three anti-worker ballot issues that would harm Colorado and interfere in the workplace. This trio of measures would limit the ability of public employees like firefighters, nurses, teachers, and police officers to advocate for change in the workplace, make it harder for nurses to advocate for safer staffing levels to ensure quality patient care, for teachers to push for smaller class sizes and organizing to improve our schools, and for police officers and firefighters to work together to get the equipment they need to keep us all safe. We believe Amendments 47, 49, and initiative 59 are dangerous constitutional amendments that will pit employers and employees against each other when we should all be working together to kick start our economy and create good paying jobs.  

If you agree with us, please consider joining our coalition. We are adding new members from across Colorado every single day. You can learn more about our issues, sign up for information or make a donation on our website at protectcoloradosfuture.org. Be sure to visit our Facebook page and become a fan to see the latest photos, videos and news or connect with other supporters. Of course, we’ll also be posting here at ColoradoPols in the coming weeks and months to keep you updated on our issues and what we are doing to spread the word as we get closer to Election Day.



Protect Colorado’s Future is a coalition of progressive groups and individuals from around Colorado who’ve come together to work on the important issues facing our state — issues like creating good jobs and providing affordable health care. We support measures that will protect our future and oppose special interest policies that will set us back.

29 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. DavidThi808 says:

    From the RMN:

    Employees could be fired or suspended only if employer can prove: incompetence, policy violations, willful misconduct, conviction of a crime involving “moral turpitude,” employer bankruptcy, or economic circumstances that provide for layoffs of 10 percent. Would apply to for-profit and nongovernment entities.

    Speaking both as someone who has been fired and who has had to fire people, this is a disaster. Finding someone who does a good job is difficult and when you have them you do everything you can to hang on to them.

    And someone who is marginal, you do everything you can to make them better because you have effort invested in them and they are somewhat trained. So when you fire someone, it’s not this spur of the moment act. It’s not due to a haircut. More than anything else it’s an admission of failure.

    So what do most people do at that point? They shake it off and go get a job elsewhere. This is not a law to protect arbitrary firing, it’s a law to protect incompetent workers.

    But the ones who at root are incompetent, the ones who don’t want to work, the ones who don’t think they can get a job elsewhere – those are the ones who will make use of this law.

    And this will be killer on start-ups and small companies. A single wrong hire can destroy a company if you are forced to keep them on. And for companies like mine, we compete world-wide so we don’t face the level playing field of all of our competitors having the same mess inflicted on them.

    This isn’t job security so much as it’s job supression.

    • ThillyWabbit says:

      leading to the loss of all benefits.

      I agree, it’s not a good idea. It’s also unenforceable. Dishonest businesses will just concoct cause wherever necessary. Everybody has violated a policy of some kind at some point, knowingly or unknowingly. All they have to do is write their policy book in a contradictory or confusing or overly long way, and then selectively enforce it. Especially just before important dates like an employee’s retirement vesting.

    • I was once fired because I was too competent, and was replaced by the person most directly responsible for the serious problems I had to correct in order to save the company’s contract.

      My dad was “retired” from running the nationally recognized data center he had designed and nurtured because a consultant hired to re-organize the company decided he fit in the position better than my father.

      I don’t know anyone who’s been fired for their appearance, but I know of a number who haven’t been hired because they were “too large”, or otherwise didn’t meet a hiring manager’s superficial view of the world…

      And I think we’ve all seen stories of people being fired because of their political affiliation in the recent past.  Remember this worker?  (Warning: FAUX News link…)

      So don’t dismiss the “fired at a whim” line as baseless rhetoric.  I’ve seen it happen as often as I’ve seen competent HR decisions.

      • DavidThi808 says:

        But companies that pull that tend to go out of business. Companies that manage their people well ten to prosper. The market forces companies to improve or suffer.

        And yes, people make poor decisions at times. They also make decisions at times that we will disagree with, but that turn out to be good ones.

        But the point remains, the last thing we want to do is turn every job into that of a public school teacher where you basically can’t fire anyone unless an administrative law judge agrees.

        • No Way Jose says:

          They’re NOTORIOUS for treating their workers like crap and they certainly haven’t gone out of business or suffered…

          • DavidThi808 says:

            shows that they do work to keep their better performing employees on board.

            With that said, different industries operate under different constraints. This tries to fit all in a single system.

            And the bottom line in high-tech companies is that competent people are fired all the time. For a high-tech start-up to suceed you need exceptional people. Merely competent is not sufficient.

        • Company #1 is one of the two top international companies in its field.  Company #2 is the most widely recognized name in its field.  Market Force: FAIL.

    • No Way Jose says:

      Or the Post or Gazette or any other Denver paper besides the Colorado Independent on this. Media Matters has consistently called all of them out for perpetuating false information on these initiatives.

      Also, if you look at the text of the initiative, I don’t see anything about 10% of the workforce… It says:

      “DISCHARGE OR SUSPENSION DUE TO SPECIFIC ECONOMIC CIRCUMSTANCES THAT DIRECTLY AND ADVERSELY AFFECT THE EMPLOYER AND ARE DOCUMENTED BY THE EMPLOYER”

      http://www.leg.state.co.us/lcs

  2. Most companies don’t lay off workers in 10% blocks, especially when they’re smaller.

    I have serious questions about both of these initiatives.  The Corporate Fraud initiative opens the floodgates of civil litigation far too wide for my tastes, and no-one’s accused me of being a corporatist shill lately…

  3. DavidThi808 says:

    What does this do to the Broncos, Nuggets, etc? Any player on their teams is clearly competent – when they are dropped they are dropped for not being exceptional enough.

    But the law merely requires competence. So would this mean the end of professional sports in Colorado?

  4. DavidThi808 says:

    Is I’m going to have to donate to the business group that will be fighting this. Keeping my company alive, and keeping jobs for my employees, has to come first.

    So there goes any future donations elsewhere – and I have made them to a lot of progressive candidates. I’ll still make some donation to Betsy Markey & Joe Whitcomb, but it will be a lot less than the max.

    And to ProtectScrewColorado’sFuture – if Betsy or Joe lose by 100 votes where my donating the max there would have made the difference, I’m going to be even more upset with you bozos.

    • DavidThi808 says:

      If anyone knows what group will be heading up the oppisition to this, can you please either post the info here, ask them to contact me, or email me their contact info?

      thanks – dave

    • CSU Ram Fan says:

      If it’s less than 20 it won’t even affect you, or less than 1000 employees for non-profits.

    • NoOn47 says:

      Business started this whole fight by putting right-to-work for less (#47) and paycheck deception (#49) on the ballot. Instead of funding them, why don’t you call them up and tell them you’re upset that they provoked this response? They are the ones to blame here, not the union guys who are simply trying to protect their workers from these horrible policies…

      Unions: the folks that brought you the weekend.

      • NoOn47 says:

        This is from the Weekly freakin’ Standard:

        Jonathan Coors was outnumbered when he met with Colorado governor Bill Ritter Jr. last April. Ritter wasn’t alone in his office. The governor’s secretary of labor and chief of staff were there, along with several business leaders opposed to the effort by Coors to put a right-to-work referendum on the ballot this fall. Ritter was eager to make a deal.

        If Coors would abandon his referendum, the governor would persuade labor leaders to drop their plans for ballot initiatives regarded as detrimental by the business community. Besides that, Ritter promised to protect the state’s venerable Labor Peace Act, which makes union organizing difficult. A year earlier, the Democrat-controlled legislature had passed a bill gutting the 1943 act. Ritter had vetoed the bill.

        Coors–yes, he’s a member of the beer family–declined the offer. His position is “philosophical,” he explains, a matter of principle, not politics.

        They had the chance to nip this whole fight in the bud and didn’t do it because they were too headstrong. Coors et al are the ones to blame for the whole mess…

        http://www.weeklystandard.com/

        • If you have a significant portion of your supposed allies against you, maybe it’s not a great idea…

          When business organizations show up to tell you Right To Work For Less sucks, maybe you should listen.

          I note David, ThillyWabbit, Danny and I are all giving this proposal a negative review.  I think the three of us represent a pretty decent sampling of “lefty” views; how well do you think this is going to go over come November if this blog is at all representative?

      • DavidThi808 says:

        But if someone else is drowning kittens, the answer is not to drown puppies to make it even.

        I don’t see how imposing onerous conditions on companies is a good answer to an initiative that is trying to screw the unions.

        So I blame both – individually & seperably. And the thing is, this proposal may protect those that get the jobs, but it will definitely reduce the number of jobs available.

        And what it really hits is jobs that can be moved elsewhere. If this passes it will have a devastating effect on potential start-ups.

        • Trill says:

          be to vote NO on EVERYTHING rather than giving money to the other side and aligning yourself with the likes of Jonathan Coors and Jon Caldara and the Independence Institute? Defeating 47 and 49 and also initiative 59 is the more important thing here.

  5. Danny the Red (hair) says:

    I know companies fire people for all kinds of dumb reasons.  I’m not sure that this law is the solution.

    Make no mistake it would chill hiring, make employee manuals Gigantic Tomes of byzantine company policies and even more bullshit CYA behavior by middle management.

    • parsingreality says:

      this is micromanaging and over the top.  This WILL keep companies out of Colorado and some here WILL leave, unlike having a somewhat unionized work force (ho hum.)

      This is stepping close to the edge of nations we have deservedly laughed at because people couldn’t be fired.  

      Life’s unfair, and we should minimize the pratfalls due to greed and self-interest, but this will backfire on the typical worker.  

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