Protections From Discrimination For Employees In Colorado
There are numerous laws and sources of legal protection for employees within Colorado who have been subjected to discrimination. This guide provides an overview of the laws that prohibit discrimination against Colorado employees and other sources of protection from discrimination.
The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) And Related State StatutesThe CADA applies to employers within the State of Colorado who have one or more employees. The CADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of an employee’s: race; national origin; sex; sexual orientation; disability; age; and/or religion. For employers with more than 25 employees, the CADA prohibits discrimination based on an employee’s future or current marriage to another employee, subject to certain exceptions. The CADA also makes it unlawful to discriminate against an employee with respect to the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment based on the employee’s pregnancy.
Effective August 10, 2016, the CADA was amended by the Colorado Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to applicants or employees for “pregnancy, physical recovery from childbirth, or a related condition,” absent such accommodations posing an undue hardship (significant difficulty or expense). Additionally, the Colorado Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers Act requires employers to provide a private room, other than a toilet stall, for an employee to express breast milk absent the existence of an undue hardship. This Act also mandates that an employer provide unpaid break time, or allow the employee to use paid break and/or meal time, to express breast milk for up to two years following the birth of a child.
Federal Laws Prohibiting DiscriminationThere are numerous federal laws that protect employees within the state of Colorado from employment discrimination. The primary federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment include:
• Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), which applies to employers with 15 or more employees and protects employees against unlawful discrimination based on sex, race, color, national origin, religion, and in retaliation for engaging in prior protected activity.
• The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which amended Title VII to prohibit discrimination based on an employee’s pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition associated with pregnancy or childbirth.
• The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which applies to employers with 20 or more employees and protects employees 40 years of age or older against age discrimination.
• The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008, which apply to employers with 15 or more employees and prohibit discrimination against a qualified individual with a disability, including where an employer fails to provide reasonable accommodations.
• The Genetic Information Act of 2008, which applies to employers with 15 or more employees and protects employees from discrimination based on their genetic information, including placing limitations on an employer’s ability to acquire or use an employee’s genetic information.
• The Equal Pay Act of 1963, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in the payment of wages.
• The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which clarified that discriminatory payment of wages occurs each time a wage is paid to an employee.
• The Uniformed Service Employment and Reemployment Act of 1994 (USERRA), which provides re-employment rights for service members returning from duty, requires employers to provide health insurance coverage for service members for a certain time period, and prohibits an employer from discriminating against an employee for engaging in uniformed service or in retaliation for an employee exercising his or her rights under USERRA.
Other Sources Of ProtectionPublic employees may have additional protections against discrimination available, depending on whether they are federal, state, or municipal employees. Employees of a union also may have additional protections against discrimination by virtue of an applicable collective bargaining agreement. Private employees may have additional protections against discrimination based on contracts with their employers and/or employment agreements or handbooks.
Do You Have A Discrimination Claim?The Wick Law Office represents public and private employees in Colorado in claims of discrimination. Please contact us for more information about such claims or to discuss your specific situation.