Colorado Governor Expected to Sign Bill Providing New Whistleblower Protections Related to Public Health Emergencies

The Colorado General Assembly recently passed legislation intended to protect employees and certain independent contractors from discrimination and/or retaliation if they raise health and safety concerns related to a public health emergency. House Bill (HB) 20-1415, which Governor Jared Polis is expected to sign, appears to be in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, although it will ultimately apply to health and safety concerns unrelated to COVID-19.

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.

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.

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. A typical use-it-or-lose-it policy includes a clause with a date by which employees must use their earned and accrued vacation hours to avoid forfeiting or losing those hours. There has been a lot of confusion regarding the legality of these policies under the Colorado Wage Claim Act (CWCA). However, despite recent CDLE guidance, Colorado law has not changed: vacation pay is a wage that cannot be subject to forfeiture. Like all forms of wages, vacation pay cannot be taken from employees once earned. Under the CWCA, requiring employees to forfeit earned vacation hours because the hours are unused is analogous to requiring them to forfeit their paychecks because the funds sit unused in the employees’ personal checking accounts.