The HR Specialist: Colorado Employment Law

Cyclone Drilling Company of Gillette has agreed to pay $45,000 to Mark Lujan for sexual harassment he said he endured while working at a drilling rig on the Western Slope. The EEOC filed the lawsuit, claiming Lujan’s supervisor, Jim Stout, subjected him to inappropriate sexual remarks …

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More than 200 Muslim workers walked out of the Greeley plant of meat processor JBS Swift & Co. in September to protest the company’s refusal to allow prayer breaks at sunset, a required ritual during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. More than 100 were fired for walking off the job and not returning …

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A group of contract janitors at Park Meadows Mall in Littleton walked off the job in September to protest unfair labor practices by the Millard Group, which provides cleaning services to malls owned by General Growth Properties (GGP) …

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Alexander Bondarenko, a letter carrier, sued the U.S. Postal Service for constructive discharge and disability discrimination. The Postal Service argued Bondarenko wasn’t disabled because his back bad did not substantially limit a “major life activity,” as the ADA requires. Bondarenko disagreed. He said the back injury left him unable to have recreational sex …

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Sometimes a supervisor targets the members of protected classes for poor treatment. But what looks like discrimination sometimes isn’t. Employers can learn the truth—and often protect themselves from liability—by holding off on discipline until after HR has conducted a thorough, independent investigation …

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Colorado employees are protected from being fired for engaging in lawful activities while off duty that are unrelated to their job duties. Employers should carefully consider discharging someone if it appears that off-duty activities may be a factor. It’s crucial to tie disciplinary action to legitimate job concerns apart from any outside activities …

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The controversy that led U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign in 2007 has now led to allegations that former First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado, Cliff Stricklin, got his job in 2006 because of political favoritism. …

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Most people probably think so, but the U.S. District Court, District of Colorado has now made it official: Recreational sex is a “major life activity” under Title I of the ADA. The case involved a former letter carrier who resigned after being passed over for numerous promotions …

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The Colorado Legislature passed several laws during the most recent legislative session that will directly affect Colorado employers, and more changes may be on the way. HR professionals need to update workplace policies and procedures to comply with these new worker rights and employer obligations …

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On Jan. 28, 2008, President Bush signed into law H.R. 4986, the National Defense Authorization Act, which grants new leave rights to employees with family members in the military. Because the NDAA amended the FMLA—not USERRA—the changes apply only to employers with 50 or more employees …

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