**Content updated on March 26, 2020 to provide a link to the U.S. Department of Labor model poster released on March 25, 2020 and to update the new effective date of the FFCRA.**

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers now have new emergency paid leave obligations for employees in Colorado and across the United States.

On March 18, 2020, a new federal law, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, was enacted to provide paid sick leave and family leave to employees in the U.S. impacted by COVID-19.  Last week, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment adopted emergency rules, the Colorado Health Emergency Leave with Pay Rules, to provide paid sick leave for employees in specific industries in Colorado.

A summary of the new federal law and the Colorado emergency rules is outlined below: Continue Reading COVID-19 Emergency Paid Sick and Family Leave Laws

Breaking news text with world and hand cursorOn Tuesday afternoon, a federal judge for the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas (Sherman Division) entered a preliminary injunction in State of Nevada et al. v. United States Department of Labor et al., Civil Action No. 4:16-CV-00731, blocking the U.S. Department of Labor’s Final Rule, which would have increased the minimum salary for “white collar” exempt employees from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $921 per week ($47,892 annually) and created an automatic update mechanism to adjust the minimum salary level every three years. The Final Rule was to be effective on December 1, 2016.

Case Background

Earlier in 2016, Nevada and twenty (20) other U.S. states filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”), the Wage and Hour Division of the DOL, and their agents, challenging the legality of the DOL’s authority to enact the Final Rule. On October 12, 2016, the States filed an Emergency Motion for a Preliminary Injunction. Amicus briefs were filed and a preliminary injunction hearing was held last week on November 16, 2016.

Continue Reading BREAKING NEWS: Nationwide Injunction Blocks the U.S. DOL’s Final Rule That Nearly Doubled the Minimum Salary for Exempt “White Collar” Employees

Colorado Employer’s Law, a member of the Worklaw® Network, a nationwide affiliation of independent law firms practicing labor and employment law – joined in the filing today of a lawsuit (PDF) against the U.S. Department of Labor and Secretary Thomas Perez to block the federal government’s illegal intrusion into private conversations regarding employment, labor and HR matters between attorneys and employers. Under a new Interpretation of current “persuader rule” law released by the Department on March 23, 2016, the government will now require vast numbers of employers and attorneys in America to disclose confidential information — including the nature of conversations, copies of representation agreements, the amounts of fees paid, and other details – about employment, labor and HR-related legal matters. The rule requires disclosure of advice provided after June 30, 2016.

Continue Reading Colorado Employer’s Law Joins Nationwide Lawsuit Against U.S. Government As Administration Expands Its War on Privacy

On June 15, 2015, in a 6-0 opinion, the Colorado Supreme Court provided its long-awaited ruling in Coats v. Dish Network, LLC (PDF). The Court affirmed the Colorado Court of Appeals’ decision below, and held that because marijuana is a Schedule I banned substance under federal law, it is not a “lawful” off-duty activity under Colorado law. Therefore, employers such as Dish Network, LLC may terminate employees who test positive for tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), a component of marijuana, in violation of a company’s drug policy.

Continue Reading Colorado Supreme Court Rules Medical Marijuana Use Is Not Lawful Off-Duty Conduct

On June 1, 2015, in an 8-1 decision, the United States Supreme Court reversed the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision in favor of Abercrombie & Fitch in EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch Stores, Inc. (PDF) — a case involving a failure-to-accommodate religious discrimination claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Reverses 10th Circuit in EEOC v. Abercrombie Hijab Case

On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court issued two decisions that provide a glimmer of hope for businesses waging the war with state government agencies over the classification of workers as independent contractors.

The cases are:

  1. Industrial Claim Appeals Office v. Softrock Geological Services, Inc. et al. (involving the classification of 1 geologist)
  2. Western Logistics, Inc. d/b/a Diligent Delivery Systems v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office et al. (involving the classification of 220 delivery drivers)

Both cases involve whether an individual is an “independent contractor” under the Colorado Employment Security Act, C.R.S. 8-70-115. Both cases arose as a result of audits conducted by the Colorado Division of Employment and Training (aka Division of Unemployment Insurance). And, both cases originally found the businesses to be liable for unemployment compensation premiums due. In other words, for the most part, the Division (the auditor, the Hearing Officer(s) and/or the Industrial Claim Appeals Office) found that the workers in question should be classified as employees, and therefore, the companies owed back taxes for unemployment insurance premiums, interest, and going forward contributions. The businesses appealed.

Continue Reading Colorado Supreme Court Provides Clarity On Independent Contractors

Treacherous.jpgFive years in the making (previously introduced without success in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012), the Job Protection and Civil Rights Enforcement Act of 2013 (HB 13-1136) (PDF) was introduced again this year in the House on January 18, 2013, and took less than five months to pass through both branches of the Colorado legislature and get signed into law by the Governor on May 6, 2013, despite considerable opposition from business groups.

Effective January 1, 2015, the Job Protection and Civil Rights Enforcement Act of 2013 significantly amends the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) to allow for the recovery of compensatory and punitive damages and prevailing plaintiff attorneys’ fees, among other changes, in employment discrimination cases brought under Colorado state law.

Regardless of size, small employers (defined as less than 15 employees) and large employers (more than 15 employees) should be aware of the changes to CADA and implement proactive steps to help minimize the increased exposure to future CADA claims.

Continue Reading Colorado Discrimination Claims Soon To Be More Treacherous For Employers

Pen Signing.jpgOn April 19, 2013, Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law SB 13-018, otherwise known as “the Employment Opportunity Act.” The Employment Opportunity Act prohibits employers from obtaining and using consumer credit information for employment purposes unless the credit information is “substantially related” to the position.

Currently, there are only 8 other states where employment protections have been adopted for individuals who may have fallen on hard economic times, including California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.

Continue Reading Colorado is the Ninth State To Restrict Use of Credit History in Employment Decisions


iStock_000017765581_ExtraSmall.jpgEmployers take note of a slew of employment law changes in 2013, including new I-9 forms, new FMLA posters and forms, and new FCRA forms.

New I-9 Forms

Effective May 7, 2013, new Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9s are required. The new forms are available from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website at:http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf. The new I-9 form was published on March 8, 2013 and must be in place and used by employers starting in May 2013.

New FMLA Poster & Forms

Effective March 8, 2013, employers must post the new Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) poster and use updated FMLA notice and certification forms. The Department of Labor’s (DOL) model forms can be found on the DOL website at: http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/2013rule/militaryforms.htm.

Continue Reading Employers: Are You Using the Right I-9, FMLA and FCRA Forms?


While many Coloradoans are taking advantage of their last few ski days of the season, the Colorado legislature has been busy passing new, groundbreaking legislation with respect to civil unions and the use of individual credit histories in employment decisions. How will this new legislation affect employers? Read on.

Continue Reading The Aye’s Have It – Colorado’s Civil Union Act Signed Into Law & Employment Opportunity Act Passed in Both Senate and House