Through the remainder of the year in this space, ASA will recap the association’s efforts in successfully defeating or significantly mitigating proposed legislation that would have harmed the staffing industry.
In January, the Colorado legislature followed up its new law requiring the registration and licensure of all “supplemental health care staffing agencies” by introducing HB 23-1030. The bill, as originally drafted, prohibited agencies from including in a contract or agreement with a health care worker, nursing care facility, or assisted living residence a provision for liquidated damages, employment fees, or other compensation if the nursing care facility or assisted living residence hired the health care worker as a permanent employee either prior to or after the termination of the contract or agreement.
In a letter to the bill’s sponsors, ASA objected to the conversion fee ban because it would prohibit staffing agencies from recouping their recruiting and placement costs and allow clients to use them as a free employment agency. While testifying before the state senate’s business, labor, and technology committee, ASA vice president of government relations Toby Malara explained that these fees usually are paid on a sliding scale based on the hours the employee has worked on the agency’s payroll and are generally waived entirely if the employee is on the payroll for a period of time agreed to by both parties.
Following the hearing, ASA lobbyist Jay Hicks of Hicks & Associates arranged a meeting between interested parties and the committee chair. Representatives from the Colorado Health Care Association and Center for Assisted Living showed no interest in compromising, but the committee chair understood the association’s concerns and, at his direction, the bill was amended to allow for conversion fees to be charged during the first 30 days of a contract.