Colorado News & Analysis

  • Title VII prohibits LGBTQ discrimination, Supreme Court rules

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination against employees because of race, color, national origin, religion, and sex. On June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in a trio of cases that tested the question of whether Title VII's existing ban on discrimination "because of . . . sex" includes bias because an employee is gay or transgender. A six-justice majority of the Court ruled an employer indeed violates the law when it impermissibly considers an employee's LGBTQ status in making employment decisions.

  • Is the coronavirus an 'Act of God'?

    Who bears the risk and obligations of an employment contract when something unforeseeable happens, making it impractical to perform under the contract?

  • OSHA issues new guidance for determining and reporting work-related COVID-19 cases

    On May 26, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued revised guidance regarding the reporting of COVID-19 cases. The guidance is available at https://www.osha.gov/memos/2020-05-19/revised-enforcement-guidance-recording-cases-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19.

  • Dismissal of U.S. WNT's unequal pay claims provides helpful reminders

    In March 2019, members of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team (WNT) filed a collective and class action lawsuit in federal court against the United States Soccer Federation, Inc. (USSF), asserting claims under Title VII and the Equal Pay Act (EPA). On May 1, 2020, a U.S. district court judge in the Central District of California ruled in favor of the USSF on nearly all of its requests for summary judgment (dismissal without a trial), removing the bulk of the WNT's claims and leaving few issues for the upcoming trial.

  • With coronavirus lawsuits on the horizon, best practices are crucial

    As the COVID-19 pandemic spread throughout the country, many employers responded to the unprecedented and uncertain situation by furloughing and laying off some or all of their workers. The actions already have spurred labor and employment lawsuits. And more are likely on the horizon, including as employees start returning to work. Here are a few of the prevailing trends in recent coronavirus-related labor and employment litigation and proactive steps you can take to help avoid a lawsuit.

  • 'Similarly situated' employees can collectively sue for unpaid wages

    The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay minimum wage, as well as overtime to eligible employees who work in excess of 40 hours per week. Employees who are denied these rights can sue their employers for unpaid wages, not only on behalf of themselves, but also on behalf of other "similarly situated" employees. This is called a collective action.

  • Pandemic sparks unexpected question: What if workers unwilling to return?

    Restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic are beginning to ease in many parts of the country, and employers are starting to call back the millions of workers who joined the ranks of the unemployed a few months ago. Many workers are champing at the bit to get back to work, but others are hesitant. And that can put already-struggling employers in a bind.

  • Getting back to 'normal'? Here are some points to consider

    As employers look to a postpandemic recovery, they're shifting their attention toward getting back to "normal." But normal isn't what it used to be, and you now have to focus on keeping employees healthy—and keeping your operations legally compliant. It's not going to be as simple as telling people to resume their work as they did before COVID-19 struck. Thoughts of personal protective equipment (PPE), engineering and administrative controls, discrimination risks, and more are now front and center.

  • What to do when an employee on FMLA leave resigns

    Q If an employee on Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave submits a letter signaling her intent to resign at the end of her leave, do we have to wait until her leave is over, or can we terminate her employment now?

  • Prepare for telecommuting to be part of your reopening plans

    Q Several employees forced to work from home during the pandemic say they prefer it to working in the office and actually feel more productive. Should we be preparing to extend and expand our telecommuting options even after the coronavirus subsides?