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What additional workplace protections does Colorado provide?

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2024 | Discrimination

Workplace discrimination remains a prevalent issue impacting countless individuals. While federal laws offer a foundational level of protection, states like Colorado and cities like Denver have fortified these safeguards. These safeguards provide residents with comprehensive defenses against discrimination in the workplace.

Federal versus state protections

At the federal level, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces laws that prohibit discrimination based on specified grounds. However, Colorado expanded these protections to encompass additional categories such as sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status and military status.

The Protecting Opportunities and Workers’ Rights Act

A pivotal advancement in Colorado’s employment law landscape is the POWR Act. This legislation widens the scope of employee protections by revising the definition of unlawful harassment, extending discrimination safeguards to include marital status and introducing provisions addressing nondisclosure agreements and recordkeeping obligations.

Denver’s Anti-Discrimination Office

Denver’s Anti-Discrimination Office plays a crucial role in resolving complaints locally, including mediating discrimination cases. This can mean an early dispute resolution to minimize adversarial legal remedies and expenses. This approach can foster a more harmonious and expedient resolution of workplace conflicts.

Family Medical Leave Act provisions

Colorado has bolstered FMLA provisions. Eligible employees qualify for up to 480 hours of family medical leave and an additional 40 hours of state family medical leave, which surpasses federal standards. The implementation of the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program further provides paid leave for various life events.

Expanding employee coverage

Recent legislative reforms have extended discrimination protections to domestic workers, a demographic historically excluded from such federal safeguards. This expansion reflects a broader interpretation of “employee” and underscores Colorado’s dedication to inclusive worker rights.

Denver and Colorado have taken commendable strides in enhancing workplace discrimination protections beyond federal mandates. These additional measures underscore a commitment to fostering fair and equitable work environments for all employees.