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.

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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.


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iStock_000020079234XSmall.jpgKnown as “Drive-By Litigation,” Colorado is getting hit by a rash of lawsuits alleging that businesses are violating Title III of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Since April of this year, 20 lawsuits (and counting) have been filed against Denver area businesses by the same Plaintiff who is represented by the same two attorneys

ADAAA Image.jpgHR.BLR.com reported today that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has privately approved its final draft regulations under the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA).  So, where does that leave us?  First, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), a federal agency that must clear rules and regulations before they are published, will have 90 days to review the final