Colorado News & Analysis

  • Minimizing employer liability during the pandemic

    Can employers be sued if an employee contracts COVID-19 at the workplace? This is a common and appropriate concern for businesses making strategic decisions regarding when and how to resume operations. Technically, anyone can be sued for anything, and many COVID-19-related lawsuits have already been filed against businesses. A better question for businesses to consider is this: Would a lawsuit be successful, and what steps can employers take to minimize their liability risk?

  • Best practices for conducting business in New Mexico during COVID-19

    On July 31, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham provided an updated COVID-19 best practices guide (All Together New Mexico—COVID-Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers) for New Mexico citizens. The guide sets forth recommended actions for all employers in addition to previous requirements and adds more specific guidance for certain businesses, such as retailers, restaurants, and gyms. It's a helpful tool for ensuring you are meeting state requirements and providing best practices for your workplace.

  • Guidance for employers as 'Strike for Black Lives' unfolds

    On July 20, 2020, organizers and labor organizations across the country held a "Strike for Black Lives"—a national walkout of workers in support of "dismantling racism and white supremacy to bring about fundamental changes in our society, economy and workplaces." To limit liability and keep their businesses running, employers must understand employees' legal rights to participate in a one-day political strike. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has interpreted the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to provide important protections to employees who engage in such strikes, and employers should respect the analysis and respond accordingly.

  • What businesses should know about OSHA's supplemental reopening guidance

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently issued guidance on returning to work for businesses deemed nonessential. The guidance is intended to supplement the agency's previously issued guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19 as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) guidelines for "Opening Up America Again." OSHA's guidance is also supposed to supplement state and local information and reopening requirements. You can use the guidance to develop policies and procedures to ensure your employees' safety and health.

  • Updated Title IX regs change way colleges respond to harassment

    The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) recently published its long-awaited final regulations under Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, the federal law that protects individuals from discrimination based on sex in education programs and activities. The regulations, which go into effect on August 14, 2020, significantly change how covered educational institutions must respond to sexual harassment allegations.

  • Discord over foreign workers has long history, elusive solution

    The fate of foreign workers in the United States remains up in the air amid the worldwide public health crisis and political disputes related to immigration and foreign worker programs. The COVID-19 pandemic had already slowed or stopped authorization of many foreign workers when the Trump administration in June restricted visas for some classes of foreign workers. The administration's action came on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that was at least a temporary win for certain young immigrant workers already in the United States. Then President Donald Trump hinted at more change on the way for those immigrants. So, the signals are mixed, making uncertainty the key word for foreign workers and their employers.

  • Determining an employees eligibility for incentives

    Q We were closed for business due to the pandemic from March 17 to June 17. We hired an employee on February 5, and he's wondering when he will be eligible for benefits. Would the new-hire waiting period start ticking from the original date of hire, including the time we were closed?

  • Fathers can start FMLA leave anytime during first year after birth

    Q Does a new father have to start Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave the day his child is born, or can he wait three months until after the mother returns to work and then take his leave?

  • Cutting-Edge HR

    Poll shows confidence in remote work. A recent edition of LinkedIn's Workforce Confidence Index released in May gives HR professionals food for thought as they consider the future. The survey shows that 55% of respondents think their industry can be effective when people work remotely. Optimism is strongest in such fields as software, finance, and media, a LinkedIn blog post said. But remote work is a "polarizing topic" in other sectors in which in-person interaction is crucial, according to the blog. Forty-eight percent of respondents in health care were optimistic about remote work, and 41% in manufacturing were keen on the idea. The most resistance was noted in retail, with just 29% of insiders thinking their industry could thrive with remote work. The poll included 5,447 LinkedIn members and covered the week of April 27 to May 3.

  • 4 observations for employers in wake of Supreme Court's LGBTQ ruling

    Since the civil rights movement of the 1960s, state and federal laws have been enacted prohibiting employment discrimination against individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity, age, disability, religion, and gender. Until recently, very few laws covered discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. As the treatment of individuals based on their sexuality moved to the forefront, that started to change. Several states, including Utah, and certain federal government agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), promulgated laws and rules prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.