New law gives employees in Colorado access to personnel files

December 15, 2016 0 COMMENTS

by Brad Williams

A new state law going into effect January 1 requires most private-sector employers in Colorado to allow employees to inspect and copy their personnel files at least annually upon request. The new law also grants former employees the right to inspect their personnel files once after the termination of their employment.

The law doesn’t require employers to create or keep personnel files for current or former employees. Also, employers aren’t required to retain any particular documents that are or were in an employee’s personnel file for any particular period of time. However, if a personnel file exists when an employee asks to inspect it, the employer must allow access.

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

June 15, 2015 0 COMMENTS

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 employers have new official employment verification form

September 23, 2014 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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Colorado civil union law means change for employers

March 25, 2013 0 COMMENTS

The Colorado Civil Union Act, which takes effect May 1, requires changes in employer-provided insurance plans and makes changes to the state’s workers’ compensation law.

Effective for plans issued, delivered, or renewed on or after January 1, 2014, a party to a civil union may cover his or her partner as a dependent. Employers providing insurance through fully insured plans must offer the same coverage for an employee’s civil union partner that it provides for an employee’s spouse. Unless an employee can claim a civil union partner as an IRS-eligible dependent, the employee must pay federal taxes on the fair market value of group healthcare benefits provided for the partner through a private employer.

The Civil Union Act also affects workers’ compensation by making survivor benefits and wage payments that are available to spouses also available to civil union partners.

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Employers Whose Employees Work in California Are Subject to State Overtime Laws

July 06, 2011 0 COMMENTS

By Chris McFadden

CaliforniaEmployers that require workers to travel to and work within California may be subject to the state’s overtime laws even though their employees are nonresidents. The California Supreme Court decided last week that the California Labor Code applies to the overtime claims of three nonresident instructors who performed work within the state. The employees, who worked for Oracle, worked mainly in their home states (Arizona and Colorado) but were required to travel to California as part of their positions. The instructors alleged that Oracle’s failure to pay overtime for work performed in California was a violation of the state’s Labor Code as well as an unlawful business act under the state’s unfair competition law.

The court determined that California’s overtime law applies to all work performed in the state in excess of eight hours in one workday and 40 hours in one workweek regardless of the employee’s place of residence. The court noted that the state’s overtime laws were designed to serve important public-policy goals such as protecting the health and safety of employees from “the evils associated with overwork” and providing an incentive to spread employment to a greater number of individuals. These policies would not be served by excluding nonresidents from the state’s overtime laws. In addition, any extra burden on employers as a result of complying with California’s overtime laws would be incidental. The court held that the state’s overtime laws don’t apply to work performed outside California.

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Colorado Employees Entitled to Leave for Children’s Academic Activities

June 09, 2009 0 COMMENTS

On June 1, 2009, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed the Parental Involvement in K-12 Education Act (H.B. 1057) into law. The Act takes effect on August 5, 2009, and requires employers with 50 or more employees to grant leave to employees to attend their children’s academic activities.

Under the Parental Involvement in K-12 Education Act, nonsupervisory employees are allowed up to 18 hours of unpaid leave each school year to attend their children’s educational activities. Such academic activities include parent-teacher conferences and meetings related to special education services, dropout prevention, attendance, truancy, and discipline.

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