Notice for Colorado’s new pregnancy accommodation law available

by Besse H. McDonald

The Colorado Civil Rights Division has released a suggested notice for employers to post related to the state’s new pregnancy accommodation law. Under the law, Colorado employers must post a notice of employee rights as well as provide written notice to new hires at the start of employment and existing employees no later than December 8, 2016.

The new law, which went into effect on August 10, requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees for health conditions related to pregnancy or physical recovery from childbirth unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer. The new law’s requirements also include an obligation to engage in the interactive process to identify reasonable accommodations.

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Colorado’s pregnancy accommodation law takes effect August 10

by Micah Dawson

Colorado’s new law requiring employers to engage in an interactive process to assess potential reasonable accommodations for applicants and employees with conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth will go into effect on August 10.

The new law, House Bill 16-1438, stipulates that employers must engage in the interactive process, provide reasonable accommodations for eligible individuals, prohibit retaliation against employees and applicants who request or use a pregnancy-related accommodation, and provide notice of employees’ rights under the law.

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Colorado repeals state employment verification law

by Roger Tsai

Colorado employers soon will be relieved of their obligation to complete and maintain the state employment verification affirmation form aimed at ensuring that new hires are legally eligible for employment in the United States.

Governor John Hickenlooper signed the measure into law on June 8, and it will take effect August 10. The law also removes employers’ obligation to keep copies of documents provided by new hires to prove their identity and employment eligibility in support of the I-9 verification process.

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Colorado’s new use-it-or-lose-it vacation policy sparks questions

The Colorado Division of Labor has taken a new position on enforcing wage claims based on an employer’s vacation policy, and the position is leaving employers with questions about whether use-it-or-lose-it vacation policies are lawful in the state.

In response to inquiries about whether policies that prohibit employees from rolling over some or all earned vacation or paid time off (PTO) from year to year, the division recently posted frequently asked questions (FAQs) on its website. The FAQs state that such policies don’t necessarily run afoul of the Colorado Wage Protection Act (WPA) and that if an employee challenges the validity of an employer’s policy, the determining factor will be when vacation is earned.

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Firing employee for off-duty marijuana use legal, says Colorado Supreme Court

by Emily Hobbs-Wright

In a nationally awaited decision, the Colorado Supreme Court has upheld an employer’s termination of an employee who tested positive for marijuana because of his off-duty, off-premises marijuana use.

The court issued a narrow decision on June 15 in Coats v. Dish Network, LLC. It turned on the fact that marijuana use remains illegal under federal law. Construing the term “lawful” to encompass activities that are permitted by both state and federal law, the court ruled that the employee’s off-duty marijuana use wasn’t a protected activity within the meaning of Colorado’s lawful activities statute because marijuana use remains unlawful under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

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Colorado wage theft protection law takes effect in January

by Emily Hobbs-Wright

Most provisions of Colorado’s new Wage Protection Act, which establishes an administrative procedure to adjudicate wage claims under state law, will take effect January 1.

The law means that for wages and compensation earned on or after January 1, 2015, the Colorado Division of Labor may receive complaints and adjudicate claims for nonpayment of wages or compensation of $7,500 or less. A written demand for unpaid wages may come from or on behalf of an employee and is satisfied if a notice of complaint filed with the division is sent to the employer.

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Categories: Colorado

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Colorado employers have new official employment verification form

September 23, 2014 - by: HR Hero Alerts 0 COMMENTS

Colorado employers now have an official form from the state Division of Labor that should be used to verify that all employees hired after October 1 are legally eligible for employment.

Colorado law already requires all public and private employers to verify and document the legal employment status of all employees hired after January 1, 2007. That requirement must be completed within 20 days of hire and is in addition to the federal requirement of verification using Form I-9.

Employers can obtain the form and instructions at www.colorado.gov/cdle/evr.

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Federal government eases stance on state marijuana laws

August 30, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announcement updating the federal marijuana enforcement policy means the federal government won’t sue to keep states from allowing controlled recreational use of marijuana, but the effect on employers isn’t yet clear.

The DOJ announced on August 29 that it was revising its policy because of state legislation in Colorado and Washington legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The announcement emphasized, however, that marijuana use remains unlawful under the federal Controlled Substances Act, and federal prosecutors will continue to enforce that law.

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Colorado law restricting use of credit checks takes effect July 1

by Mark Wiletsky

Colorado employers need to make sure their background check policies comply with the state’s Employment Opportunity Act, which takes effect July 1. The new law bans employers from obtaining and using credit history information when evaluating applicants and employees. Certain jobs are exempt from the prohibition, but the exemptions are very narrow.

Section 8-2-126 of the Colorado Revised Statutes provides that employers can’t use consumer credit information for employment purposes unless the information is substantially related to an employee’s current or potential job. That means Colorado employers are prohibited from using credit information in employment decisions except when credit or financial responsibility is substantially related to the job.

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Ruling supports firing pot smokers despite Colorado law

April 29, 2013 - by: Tammy Binford 0 COMMENTS

The Colorado Court of Appeals has upheld an employee’s firing for off-duty marijuana use, despite medical and recreational use of the drug being allowed under state law.

A quadriplegic employee who used marijuana under the state’s medical marijuana amendment filed a lawsuit after he tested positive for drugs in violation of company policy and was fired. He claimed his employer violated the Colorado’s lawful off-duty activity statute, which prohibits termination for any “lawful activity” conducted off an employer’s premises during nonworking hours.

In its April 25th ruling, the appeals court held that the employee’s use of marijuana wasn’t lawful activity because “for an activity to be ‘lawful’ in Colorado, it must be permitted by, and not contrary to, both state and federal law.” Since marijuana use is illegal under federal law, the employer didn’t violate the law in terminating the employee.

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