Total Articles: 62
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 25, 2019
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has proposed amendments to its Wage Protection Act Rules (Proposed WPA Rules) that include a prohibition against forfeiture of vacation pay under the Colorado Wage Claim Act (CWCA).
Jackson Lewis P.C. • August 06, 2019
An employer’s vacation policy did not violate the Colorado Wage Claim Act (CWCA), despite stating that employees forfeit earned vacation pay if they are discharged or quit without giving two weeks’ notice, the Colorado Court of Appeals has held. Nieto v. Clark’s Market, Inc., 2019 COA 98 (Colo. App. June 27, 2019).
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 01, 2019
Effective August 2, 2019, Colorado employers using tip pools must comply with new customer notice requirements. Under H.B. 1254, which passed both houses of the legislature in the 2019 session and was signed by Governor Polis on May 13, tips are the sole property of the employee receiving them unless employers publish a notice on menus, table tents, or receipts, informing each customer that gratuities are shared by employees.
Ogletree Deakins • July 05, 2019
On May 28, 2019, Colorado governor Jared Polis signed into law the Colorado Chance to Compete Act (House Bill 19-1025), more commonly known as “ban the box” legislation. The recently signed Act is another example of pro-employee legislative change that has taken place since the Democrats gained control of the state legislature in 2018.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 23, 2019
In an effort to prevent persons with criminal records from being automatically ruled out for job vacancies, Colorado Governor Jared Polis has signed “ban the box” legislation. The new law will go into effect in September 2019 for employers with at least 11 employees, and employers with fewer than 11 employees have until September 2021 to comply. This makes Colorado the 13th state to enact “ban the box” legislation for private employers.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 12, 2019
Colorado has joined the ban-the-box legislative trend. Ban-the-box laws prohibit employers from asking applicants about criminal history on the employment application, thereby banning the once-common checkbox for applicants to disclose their ex-convict status. These laws also generally impose other restrictions on the collection and use of criminal history in the recruitment process. With the enactment of the Colorado Chance to Compete Act (H.B. 19-1025) (CCCA) on May 28, 2019, Colorado has become the 32nd jurisdiction to enact a ban-the-box law that applies to private-sector employees. Adding additional protections for applicants with criminal histories, Governor Polis simultaneously signed H.B. 19-1275, which restricts inquiries about applicants’ sealed and expunged criminal records.
Colorado will become the 13th state with a "ban the box" criminal history law affecting private employers during the hiring process. Effective September 1, 2019, the new law will apply to employers with 11 or more employees and effective September 1, 2021, it will apply to all employers.
Colorado and Washington have each enacted strict salary history question bans that prohibit employers from asking about or seeking a job applicant's wage history. This marks 10 states with statewide salary history bans applicable to private employers, all passed within the last three years.
Ogletree Deakins • May 30, 2019
On May 22, 2019, Colorado governor Jared Polis signed sweeping equal pay legislation into law after nearly 40 years of failed attempts by the Colorado government to pass a pay equity law. The recently signed Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act is one of many transformative legislative changes the state government has put in place since the November 2018 election, which resulted in Democrats holding trifecta control in the Colorado state government for the first time in years.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 28, 2019
Enacting one of the toughest enhanced state pay equity laws to date, Colorado has become the tenth state in the country to pass an equal pay law that is more demanding than federal law. The new law, signed by Governor Jared Polis on May 22, 2019, goes into effect on January 1, 2021.
Fisher Phillips • May 28, 2019
The 2018 Colorado state elections resulted in a Democratic House, Senate, and governor, smoothing the way for the 2019 legislature to pass six new employment bills. Some of these pieces of legislation had been proposed in various forms in previous sessions but failed to pass – until now. While a few still await Governor Jared Polis’s signature, they are all expected to be signed and soon should be state law.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • May 24, 2019
Colorado Governor Jared Polis has signed what is one of the toughest enhanced state pay equity laws to date. Colorado has become the tenth state in the country to pass an equal pay law that is more demanding than federal law. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2021.
Effective January 1, 2020, Colorado employers will face criminal penalties if they willfully fail to pay wages exceeding $2,000. Under current law, an employer that refuses to pay a wage claim is guilty of a misdemeanor and faces only minor fines.
Fisher Phillips • May 17, 2019
Under a new law signed by Governor Jared Polis yesterday, Colorado employers will soon face potential criminal charges for failure to pay wages. Once the new law takes effect on January 1, 2020, you will need to ramp up your wage and hour compliance efforts or risk facing criminal penalties. How exactly can Colorado employers avoid becoming felons?
Jackson Lewis P.C. • April 14, 2019
Colorado legislators are only a few steps away from approving the Colorado “Equal Pay for Equal Work Act” (SB 19-085) and making it the latest to enact enhanced equal pay legislation.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • January 25, 2019
On January 17, 2019, Colorado Senate Democrats introduced the “Equal Pay for Equal Work Act” (SB 19-085) to prohibit a wage differential based on an employee’s sex. The bill also contains a salary history ban and pay transparency requirements. If passed, this would be among the most aggressive equal pay laws in the nation.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • October 02, 2018
On September 20, 2018, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued an impressive 41-page decision on the scope of arbitration agreements and the duty of loyalty in Colorado, Digital Landscape Inc. v. Media Kings LLC, 2018 COA 142 (Colo. App. Sept. 20, 2018). The court concluded that clauses requiring arbitration of all claims “arising under” an agreement are broad and that such language is not intended to limit the scope of arbitrable claims. Indeed, the court held that such clauses can include even unpled claims for breach of the duty of loyalty by independent contractors that usurp an opportunity of the principal.
Fisher Phillips • June 18, 2018
On May 29, 2018, Governor Hickenlooper signed HB—1128 into law. Importantly, the Bill amends the State’s data breach notification law to require that affected Colorado residents be notified within 30 days of a data breach, and specifies the information that must be included in the data breach notice. The new law, which takes effect September 1, 2018, applies to “covered entities,” (if your business maintains, owns, or licenses information of Colorado residents, regardless of where the business or data is based, it is a “covered entity”), also sets forth certain data security requirements and adds requirements regarding the disposal of personal identifying information.
Ogletree Deakins • June 04, 2018
On June 4, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States settled a controversy stemming from a bakery’s refusal to make a cake for a same-sex couple’s wedding reception. Justice Kennedy, writing for the majority, ruled that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment by failing to consider the case with religious neutrality. Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, No. 16-111, Supreme Court of the United States (June 4, 2018).
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • April 09, 2018
In 1982, the first compact discs were introduced, the Weather Channel debuted, the first artificial heart was successfully implanted in a human patient, and Colorado first enacted its statute governing covenants not to compete, section 8-2-113, C.R.S. Since then, to say that business and technology have changed a great deal would be a massive understatement. But not once since 1982 has Colorado amended section 8-2-113. Not until Governor John Hickenlooper signed Senate Bill 18-082 on April 2, 2018.
Ogletree Deakins • March 18, 2018
On March 5, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court addressed a longstanding question regarding the statute of limitations applicable to claims brought under the Colorado Wage Claim Act (CWCA) by holding the Act’s statute of limitations reaches back only as far as three years preceding an employee’s termination of employment. The case, Hernandez v. Ray Domenico Farms, No. 17SA77, made its way to the supreme court when U.S. District Court Judge William Martinez sua sponte asked the supreme court to clarify two potentially conflicting sections in the CWCA: one establishing a statute of limitations for unpaid wage claims and another declaring all unpaid wages are due upon termination.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • March 15, 2018
The Colorado Supreme Court recently clarified the applicable statute of limitations for wage claims in the State of Colorado.1 In Hernandez v. Ray Domenico Farms, Inc., No. No. 17SA77, 2018 WL 1146468 (Colo. Mar. 5, 2018) (“Hernandez”), the court held that claims under Colorado’s Wage Claim Act (the “Wage Act”) must be brought within two or three years of when the wages first become due and payable, overruling several decisions that held terminated employees could make a claim for any unpaid wages earned during the entire course of their employment.
Ogletree Deakins • May 16, 2017
In a recent ruling, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a district court’s order granting summary judgment in which the district court held that an employee may be exempt from overtime under Colorado’s motor carrier exemption even when the employee does not actually travel out of state. Combs v. Jaguar Energy Services, LLC, No. 16-1250 (March 31, 2017).
Ogletree Deakins • December 19, 2016
With the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president last month, many are wondering what impact the new Trump administration will have on employers. President-elect Trump has given few details regarding his plans for labor and employment policy, but the following is a summary of how different areas of labor and employment could be affected by the incoming administration.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • August 18, 2016
Effective August 10, 2016, Colorado has eliminated the requirement that employers collect and retain state employment verification forms for each new hire. The Colorado General Assembly concluded that the state collection requirement unnecessarily burdened employers because it was redundant of federal requirements for the Form I-9 and did nothing additional to ensure legal work status of employees in the state.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 30, 2016
Encouraging government whistleblowers, an amendment to Colorado law bars disciplinary actions against state employees who reveal confidential information while reporting instances of waste, mismanagement of public funds, abuses of authority, or illegal and unethical practices to a designated “whistleblower review agency.” Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed the amendment (SB 16-056) to Colorado Revised Statutes Section 24-50.5-101 et seq. on June 10, 2016.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 28, 2016
Beginning January 1, 2017, employees in Colorado will now have a right to inspect and copy their personnel files. Prior to this law, Colorado had no law granting private-sector employees access to their personnel records.
Ogletree Deakins • June 28, 2016
On June 10, 2016, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law House Bill 16-1432. Effective January 1, 2017, the new law will require private sector employers to allow employees to access their personnel files at least once annually. The law does not apply to public sector employers (whose employees already have access to such records through the Colorado Open Records Act).
Fisher Phillips • June 28, 2016
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper recently signed five bills into law that will soon impact employers in a number of different ways. Employers who do business in the state will face a new legal framework with respect to personnel files, classification of workers as employees or independent contractors for unemployment purposes, work status verification, and employment of workers with intellectual or developmental disabilities. Moreover, public employers will have additional challenges when it comes to employee whistleblowers.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 27, 2016
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has signed into law new requirements specifying when and how private-sector employers must respond to their employees’ requests for inspection and copying of their personnel files. Prior to this law, Colorado had no law granting private-sector employees access to their personnel records.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 21, 2016
Beginning on August 10, 2016, Colorado employers will be relieved of the additional state verification and retention obligations related to the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 20, 2016
Since January 1, 2007, Colorado employers have been required to verify the work authorization of all newly hired employees – in essence, comply with federal I-9 requirements. However, Colorado added requirements on top of the Form I-9: the completion and retention of a written or electronic version of an entirely separate affirmation form, and retention of copies of the identity and work authorization documents presented by the employee during the I-9 process. More than 200 employers have been subject to fines under the law and more than 7,000 random audits were conducted. The law called fines between $5,000 and $25,000.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 17, 2016
On June 10, 2016, Governor John W. Hickenlooper signed Colorado House Bill 16-1432, Personnel Files Employee Inspection Right (the “Bill”), into law. The Bill, which provides certain current and former private-sector employees the right to access and obtain a copy of their personnel files, will take effect on January 1, 2017.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • June 13, 2016
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has signed into law a bill that makes it an unfair employment practice if an employer fails to provide reasonable accommodations to a job applicant or an employee for conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 09, 2016
States and municipalities around the country are increasingly providing more protection for pregnant employees. As recently as April 2016, San Francisco became the first municipality to enact fully paid parental leave for up to six full weeks.1 More than a dozen states have passed laws protecting the rights of pregnant workers with respect to leaves, accommodations, and related issues.2 Colorado has now joined the ranks.
Fisher Phillips • June 05, 2016
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed new antidiscrimination protections for pregnant applicants and employees into law on June 1. This addition to Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) will soon require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant applicants and employees upon request, or face discrimination claims if they fail to do so or otherwise discriminate against those making such a request. Here are a series of FAQs to help you better understand the new obligations that will soon be in effect.
Ogletree Deakins • June 05, 2016
On June 1, 2016, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law Colorado’s Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The act, which becomes effective on August 10, 2016, amends the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) and requires employers to accommodate medical conditions and limitations stemming from pregnancy that may not separately qualify as disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In addition, the act imposes new posting and notification requirements for employers. Also, unlike the ADA, which applies only to employers with 15 or more employees, CADA and the new act apply to all employers, even those with only 1 employee.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • March 24, 2016
The U.S. Supreme Court denied a motion filed by the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma for leave to file a complaint against the state of Colorado, challenging that State’s legalization of marijuana. The Supreme Court denied the motion without opinion or explanation on March 21, 2016.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • December 18, 2015
The U.S. Solicitor General filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court December 16, 2015 opposing Nebraska and Oklahoma’s challenge to Colorado’s legalization of marijuana. Last December, the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma filed a motion in the U.S. Supreme Court seeking permission to file suit against the state of Colorado, arguing that Colorado’s legalization of marijuana is unconstitutional. They argue that the “legal” marijuana in Colorado overflows into its neighboring states, creating law enforcement problems for those states. Among other things, Nebraska and Oklahoma argue that Colorado’s law is preempted by federal law which provides that marijuana is illegal. We blogged about that motion here.
Ogletree Deakins • December 02, 2015
The use of so-called “use-it-or-lose-it” vacation pay policies is receiving significant attention in Colorado, both from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) and from employers trying to make sense of the CDLE’s recent announcements.
Jackson Lewis P.C. • October 23, 2015
Colorado employers are not required to provide their employees any paid vacation benefit. However, when they do, clear “use-it-or-lose-it” provisions in vacation policies are valid under certain conditions under the Colorado Wage Claim Act, according to the Colorado Division of Labor’s guidance on vacation pay.
Fisher Phillips • October 22, 2015
In late September of this year, the Colorado Department of Labor (CDOL) announced that “use-it-or-lose-it” vacation policies would no longer be permitted pursuant to its enforcement policy. However, mere weeks later, the CDOL reportedly acknowledged to the Denver Post that the materials it issued on this subject were “not clear.”
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • October 21, 2015
The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment's Division of Labor has promulgated new guidance on "use-it-or-lose-it" vacation policies. While the Colorado Division of Labor has taken no enforcement position on use-it-or-lose it policies for many years, the Wage Protection Act of 2014 gave the Division new enforcement authority to adjudicate complaints for unpaid wages (including earned vacation time). As such, the Division now feels that it is in a position where it must take a formal position on vacation policies.
Fisher Phillips • September 22, 2015
“Use-it-or-lose-it” vacation pay policies are no longer permitted under Colorado wage and hour laws, according the Colorado Department of Labor Division of Employment’s current enforcement policy.
Brody and Associates, LLC • August 27, 2015
In a blow to legalized marijuana advocates but a move that is sure to please employers, the Colorado Supreme Court recently ruled that a company could lawfully fire an employee who used medical marijuana on his personal time.
The legal status of marijuana, and medical marijuana in particular, remains hazy. While more and more states are legalizing medical marijuana – and in 2013, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize recreational marijuana – marijuana use remains illegal under federal law. To make this issue even cloudier, even under federal law employers must be careful –use of medical marijuana may require a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which would make its use legal in that circumstance. Thus, how to handle marijuana use in the workplace remains unclear.
Fisher Phillips • June 24, 2015
On June 15, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court held in a unanimous decision that employers are still free to prohibit employee marijuana use in their workforces, and can still discipline and terminate employees who test positive for the drug, despite state law permitting its recreational and medicinal use. In so doing, the Court issued an employer-friendly opinion that will have wide-ranging implications for all Colorado employers. Coats v. Dish Network.
Littler Mendelson, P.C. • June 16, 2015
On June 15, the Colorado Supreme Court provided good news to Colorado employers that prohibit employee marijuana use. In the long-awaited decision in Coats v. Dish Network, the court ruled that medical marijuana use—which is permitted under state law but prohibited under federal law—is not a “lawful activity” under Colorado’s lawful activities statute.
Ogletree Deakins • June 16, 2015
Today, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Coats v. Dish Network, No. 13SC394 (June 15, 2015). The court held that Colorado’s lawful off-duty conduct statute does not prohibit employers from discharging employees who choose to use marijuana for medical purposes off-duty and away from their employers’ places of business, even when there is no evidence that such use affected job performance or that an employee was otherwise impaired while at work.
Goldberg Segalla LLP • June 16, 2015
In a closely watched case involving the use of medical marijuana by an employee, the Colorado Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the lower courts’ rulings that businesses may fire employees for being under the influence of medical marijuana, even if that use takes place off the job.
In Coats v. Dish Network, the Colorado Supreme Court has ruled 6-0 that a medical marijuana user who was fired after failing a drug test cannot get his job back even though both recreational and medical marijuana use are legal in the state.
Fisher Phillips • December 19, 2014
On January 1, 2015, changes to Colorado’s employment anti-discrimination statute will go into effect, drastically impacting employers facing employment discrimination claims. The changes will significantly expand the remedies available under the statute, and will make it easier and more attractive for employees to file discrimination lawsuits in state court rather than alleging violations of federal law.
Fisher Phillips • June 19, 2014
The Wage Protection Act of 2014, signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper on May 29, expands the state’s wage payment law to include additional types of claims, and grants the Colorado Division of Labor in the Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) more authority and resources to pursue wage claims on behalf of employees. The law applies to nearly every private employer in Colorado who employs even a single employee.
Ogletree Deakins • June 20, 2013
The 2013 Colorado legislative session resulted in three new laws that are significant for employers. First, effective July 1, 2013, employers will face new restrictions on their ability to obtain and use consumer credit information for making employment decisions related to employees and applicants. Also effective July 1, 2013, employers will be prohibited from requesting applicants’ and employees’ social media passwords. Third, effective January 1, 2015, the remedies available under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act will be expanded, allowing workers to receive greater damages under the Act.
Fisher Phillips • June 12, 2013
On May 3, 2013, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed into law the new Family Care Act (FCA). The law attempts to broaden the qualifying reasons for employee leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Ogletree Deakins • November 03, 2011
As of 11:50 p.m. on November 1, 2011, the City and County of Denver Coordinated Election results were in. By a margin of 66,719 votes (64.02%) against to 37,498 votes (35.98%) in favor, Ballot Initiative 300 - the Denver Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, failed
Ogletree Deakins • September 20, 2011
The Colorado Court of Appeals recently issued an important decision that sheds some light on the murky intersection between medical marijuana use and employment law. Colorado first passed amendments to the state Constitution in 2000, protecting medical marijuana users from criminal prosecution. In 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) would end raids on state-approved marijuana dispensaries. Since then, the number of dispensaries and individuals seeking medical marijuana in Colorado exploded. Employers have been left in the dark regarding what to do with employees holding medical marijuana cards and how to handle employeesâ€™ use of medical marijuana. Although Beinor deals with the denial of unemployment compensation benefits, it is the first case reviewed by an appellate court in Colorado regarding medical marijuana in the employment context, and provides a favorable result for employers. Beinor v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, No. 10CA1685, Colorado Court of Appeals (August 18, 2011).
Ogletree Deakins • September 20, 2011
In November 2011, Denver voters will decide whether to pass the proposed Denver Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance, which would require employers to provide paid sick and safe time leave to employees who work in Denver. The ordinance is one of the latest pieces of paid sick time legislation that is making its way to the ballot box by advocates across the country, including the National Partnership for Women & Families.
Ogletree Deakins • September 12, 2011
Promoting public health? Sounds good. Making sure working adults stay at home when they are sick? I'm on board. Flexible and supportive working environment? Of course, who doesn't want that.
Ogletree Deakins • June 07, 2011
n April 6, 2011, the Job Protection and Civil Rights Enforcement Act of 2010 (SB-72) died in House Committee by a close 5-4 vote. SB-72 was a bill similar to previous bills that have been introduced the last two years to amend the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) to allow for compensatory and punitive damages in employment discrimination cases brought under state law.
Ogletree Deakins • June 01, 2011
On May 31, 2011, in a decision critical to non-compete law in Colorado, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its holding in Lucht's Concrete Pumping Inc. v. Horner (PDF). I previously blogged about the fluctuating state of Colorado's non-compete law given the decisions below in the Lucht's case -- Colorado Non-Compete Law in Flux (October 7, 2010). For many who have been watching and waiting, The Decision (my sport's reference for the day...go Heat) has arrived, and it's favorable for employers.
Ogletree Deakins • June 24, 2010
New Colorado Medical Marijuana Laws Provide Additional Guidance for Employers.
Fisher Phillips • June 08, 2009
It's time for Colorado employers to update their employee handbooks. On June 1, 2009, Gov. Bill Ritter signed the "Parental Involvement in K-12 Education Act," which will take effect on August 5, 2009. This new law requires Colorado employers with 50 or more employees to grant up to six hours per month (up to 18 hours per academic year) of unpaid leave for the purposes of attending an academic activity for or with the employee's child.