Colorado News & Analysis

  • DOL eases restrictions on tipped employees

    Employers in the hospitality industry have long struggled to follow the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL) guidance limiting the circumstances under which they may take a "tip credit" toward their employees' federal minimum wage. New DOL guidance eases the restrictions on tip credits.

  • Earning employee trust can reduce your legal liabilities

    "Trust" is a slippery concept. What does it mean for your employees to "trust" you or "distrust" you? And why should you care?

  • Minimum wage increases heat up the competition for hourly workers

    It's no news to most anyone with experience in federal wage and hour laws that they tend to lag far behind the times. The federal minimum wage—which has stood at $7.25 going on 10 years now—certainly falls into that category. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' CPI Inflation Calculator, today's equivalent of the 1978 minimum wage (which was $2.65) would be $10.72. According to the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, if the rate had risen at an appropriate pace since 1968, it would be close to $20.

  • Massage therapy students aren't entitled to compensation for practice massages

    Employees or trainees? Students at for-profit massage therapy schools realized that while performing their required clinical hours by giving massages to the schools' clients, they were helping the facilities make money. That rubbed a group of the students the wrong way, especially when their clinic managers and teaching assistants allegedly failed to supervise them or give feedback during the massages. The students thought of themselves as unpaid employees and sued the schools for back wages. They lost both in the trial court and on the appellate level. Here's why.

  • Avoiding age discrimination claims when offering early retirement incentives

    Q We would like to offer an early retirement incentive to employees with a specific job title in a specific department. We currently have only a 401(k) plan with a company match, so the new incentive would be a cash payment categorized as a bonus for payroll purposes. How can we offer the bonus and not run afoul of discrimination laws?

  • Workplace Trends

    Turnover hits all-time high. Research from indicates that total workplace turnover in the United States hit an all-time high in 2018, reaching 19.3%. That's nearly a full percentage point from 2017 and more than 3.5% since 2014. The report contains data from nearly 25,000 participating organizations of varying sizes in the United States. By industry, hospitality (31.8%), health care (20.4%), and manufacturing and distribution (20%) had the highest rates of total turnover. Utilities (10.3%), insurance (12.8%), and banking and finance (16.7%) had the lowest. By area of the country, the South Central region (20.4%) and the West (20.3%) had the highest rates of total turnover. The Northeast (17.3%) had the lowest rate of total turnover in the country.

  • What Democratic majority may mean in upcoming CO legislative session

    On November 6, 2018, Democrats flipped the Colorado Senate while retaining control of the House and governorship. This "trifecta" of political control will make it much easier for them to pursue their legislative agenda and potentially push through changes to our state's employment laws that are likely to be more employee-friendly. As the legislature looks forward to convening on January 4, 2019, new employment-related bills are certain to be introduced and may include updated versions of bills that passed in the Democratic house during the last legislative session before being rejected by the Republican senate.

  • Wellness programs are about more than health insurance costs

    When attorneys talk or write about wellness programs, it's almost always from a highly legal perspective. We could talk all day about the convoluted and overlapping requirements of the various laws that apply to such programs. But this month, we want to take a different approach and look at wellness programs from more of a business perspective.

  • Wrap up 2018 with new or revised handbook

    This year has brought an unusual number of changes in employment law. Various federal agencies got into the groove of aggressively undoing a lot of requirements their predecessors in the Obama administration had put into place. In addition, there has been an increasing number of employment-related requirements from state and local governments.

  • Employers ditching annual reviews for more frequent feedback

    There seems to be a shift in the way employers evaluate workers. A number of large companies (for example, Microsoft, Dell, and Gap) have recently nixed annual review systems in favor of more frequent forms of feedback on employees' performance.