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Total Articles: 40

10th Circuit Finds Employee Who Only Worked in Colorado Falls Under State MCA Exemption

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).

Labor and Employment Law Under the Trump Administration: A Brief Overview for Colorado Employers

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.

Reducing Redundancy: Colorado Repeals its State-Specific Employment Verification Requirement

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.

Colorado Broadens Whistleblower Protection for State Employees Who Disclose Confidential Information

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.

Colorado Law Grants Employees Right to Access Personnel Files

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.

New Colorado Law Requires Employee Access to Personnel Files

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).

Five New State Laws Will Soon Affect Colorado Employers

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.

New Colorado Law Grants Employees Access to Personnel Files

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.

Colorado Repeals State Employment Verification Requirement

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.

Colorado Repeals State Employment Verification Requirement

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.

Colorado Grants Certain Private-Sector Employees the Right to Inspect Their Personnel Files

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.

Colorado Expands Pregnancy Discrimination Law

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.

Pre- and Post-Partum Protection: Colorado Enacts A Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

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.

Colorado Employers Face New Pregnancy Accommodation Law

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.

Colorado Expands Anti-Discrimination Act With Pregnant Workers Fairness Act

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.

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Permission For Lawsuit Seeking to Invalidate Colorado’s Legalization Of Marijuana

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.

U.S. Opposes Lawsuit By States Seeking To Overturn Colorado Legalization of Marijuana

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.

CDLE’s Official Guidance on Use-It-Or-Lose-It Vacation Policies: Still Prohibited

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.

Colorado Labor Division Guidance Clarifies Forfeiture of Vacation Pay Sometimes Permissible

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.

Colorado Department Of Labor "Clarifies" Vacation Pay Position

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.”

Colorado Division of Labor Issues New Guidance on "Use-It-Or-Lose-It" Vacation Policies, But Questions Remain

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.

Colorado Employers Face Significant Change In Vacation Pay Law

“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.

Got A Prescription for That?: Colorado Supreme Court Says You Can Fire A Worker for Smoking Medical Marijuana

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.

Colorado Employers Handed Medical Marijuana Victory

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.

Colorado Supreme Court Upholds Termination of Employee for Medical Marijuana Use

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.

Colorado Supreme Court Affirms Right to Discharge Medical Marijuana User Who Tested Positive in Violation of Zero Tolerance Policy

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.

Up in Smoke? Colorado's Highest Court Upholds Termination of Employee for Off-Duty Medical Marijuana Use

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.

Colorado Supreme Court Finds Employers May Fire Medical Marijuana Users

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.

Changes Coming To Colorado Discrimination Claims

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.

New Colorado Wage Law Expands Coverage And Enforcement Methods

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.

Colorado Legislative Wrap-Up

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.

Colorado Family Care Act To Go Into Effect

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).

Denver Voters Reject Paid Sick Time Ordinance

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

Colorado Court of Appeals Issues Employer-Friendly Decision in Medical Marijuana Case

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 employees’ 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).

Denver’s Proposed Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance Moves Forward

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.

Proposed Denver Paid Sick and Safe Time Ordinance: Nothing To Sneeze At

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.

Proposed Amendments to Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act to Add Compensatory and Punitive Damage Remedies Die in House Committee

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.

Colorado Supreme Court Says Continued At-Will Employment Is Sufficient Consideration For Noncompetition Agreement

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.

Colorado eAuthority (June 2010).

New Colorado Medical Marijuana Laws Provide Additional Guidance for Employers.

New Leave Requirement For Colorado Employers.

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.