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End-Of-The Year To-Do List For Colorado Employers: Vacation Pay And Denver Minimum Wage

Colorado employers will soon face two big changes that will impact your workplaces. In a matter of weeks, the state will adopt a new rule on use-it-or-lose-it vacation policies, and Denver will begin the process of increasing its minimum wage. With the new year approaching, now is the perfect time to get up to speed on these changes adjust your policies and practices.

Drastic Revisions To Colorado’s Wage And Hour Laws Are Coming

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment just published proposed regulations that will dramatically overhaul the state’s wage and hour laws. This sweeping reform has the potential to impact every employer doing business in Colorado, addressing overtime, salary requirements, rest breaks, and a host of other factors. While the final version of these rules may slightly vary from their current form, and they won’t be effective until at least March 2020, you should take steps right now to understand them and plan for the finalization and implementation of these new laws.

Colorado Labor Agency Proposes Revisions to Wage Rules that Include Bar on Vacation Pay Forfeiture

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).

Colorado Court Decides Issue of First Impression on Restrictive Covenants

The Colorado Court of Appeals recently decided an issue of first impression regarding noncompetition and nonsolicitation agreements. The decision in 23 LTD v. Herman highlights an important consideration for Colorado restrictive covenants: it is the parties’ job to craft narrow agreements, and they cannot count on the courts to step in and rescue an otherwise overbroad agreement.

Colorado Employer’s Vacation Policy that Included Forfeiture Provision Upheld

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).

Colorado’s Revised Tip Pool Notice Requirements Take Effect August 2

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.

Colorado Becomes 13th State to Pass “Ban the Box” Legislation

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.

Colorado Enacts ‘Ban the Box’ Legislation to Take Effect in September 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.

Colorado Limits Inquiries About Applicants’ Criminal History

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 Lifts Ban on Local Minimum Wage Ordinances – With Restrictions

Repealing a 20-year old prohibition on local enactment of minimum wage ordinances, on May 28, 2019, Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 1210 allowing, with certain restrictions, such local ordinances. Under H.B. 1210, no more than 10 percent of Colorado’s local jurisdictions may enact local minimum wage rates and any such rates cannot increase by more than 15 percent annually. Under the law, several adjoining communities may join to enact regional minimum wage rates.
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