Colorado News & Analysis

  • CO employers can forgo paying out unused vacation upon termination

    Unused vacation time can represent a substantial liability on the books for many employers. Therefore, the extent to which you can control the payout of unused vacation time upon an employee's separation from employment is an area of significant interest. The following case may provide new ammunition for enforcing restrictive policies on vacation payouts, including limiting such payments to employees who are not involuntarily terminated or who voluntarily depart with sufficient advance notice.

  • Individual coverage HRAs probably not option for 2020

    On his very first day in office, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order instructing federal agencies to lessen the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) burden on the organizations and individuals who were subject to its requirements. More than two years later, the ACA is limping along, but the Trump administration is still working to carry out that order.

  • How to identify and minimize employee burnout

    You may have seen reports recently that the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified employee burnout as a diagnosable medical condition. While that's not exactly accurate, the group has expanded its definition of the term in its latest edition of the International Classification of Diseases.

  • No smoking, please: cash and other bonuses for tobacco quitters

    Q Can we offer a small cash bonus to employees who are nonsmokers (verified by a short questionnaire) or who smoke/chew tobacco but complete a smoking cessation program? Is there a cap on how much we can offer or how the bonus can be paid?

  • Union Activity

    UAW urges Congress to review labor laws. The United Auto Workers (UAW) in June called on Congress to take a comprehensive look at the country's labor laws and rules from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) affecting the UAW's ability to form a union at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee. UAW spokesperson Brian Rothenberg said Volkswagen was able to delay bargaining and a vote "through legal games." Calling the labor laws "broken," Rothenberg said workers shouldn't have "to endure threats and intimidation in order to obtain the right to collectively bargain." He said current law "caters to clever lawyers who are able to manipulate the NLRB process."

  • Colorado Legislature passes numerous important employment-related bills

    Led by Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate, the Colorado General Assembly passed multiple important employment-related bills during its 2019 legislative session. The state's new Democratic governor, Jared Polis, recently signed all the bills below into law.

  • DOL updates opinion on independent contractors for the gig economy

    Under the Trump administration, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has taken a decidedly industry-friendly approach to the independent contractor analysis. If there was any doubt before, that was made clear by its recent issuance of a whopping 10-page opinion letter examining the nature of the relationship between a virtual marketplace company (think Uber) and the "gig" workers they employ (e.g., Uber drivers).

  • Supreme Court ruling raises stakes in Title VII claims

    If an employee files a timely Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charge, can she later raise new discrimination allegations after the filing deadline has passed? That's the issue addressed in a new decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. Spoiler alert: The answer is no, unless the employer—or more accurately, its attorney—doesn't notice. To understand the Court's ruling, it's helpful to understand the EEOC's role in discrimination claims.

  • Employer learns expensive lesson when it sues former employee

    A former employee cannot accuse her former employer of retaliation for something it did after she no longer worked for the company. However, the employer likely could have avoided the entire situation if it had chosen not to pursue a relatively small claim against its former employee.

  • FMLA leave for dad's mental comfort, reassurance

    Q An employee who is eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave has requested to use it to spend time with her father, who is in a nursing home but having difficulty settling in. He has dementia and will listen only to family members. Is this a qualifying event? She wouldn't be the primary caregiver.