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Commentary and Analysis Regarding Colorado Law

Cathy Tallerico is a litigator who specializes in representing governmental entities such as school districts and special districts. She works closely with boards and executives on a wide variety of legal matters including policy development, employment matters, workplace investigations, open records and public meetings laws, education and...

Cathy Tallerico is a litigator who specializes in representing governmental entities such as school districts and special districts. She works closely with boards and executives on a wide variety of legal matters including policy development, employment matters, workplace investigations, open records and public meetings laws, education and student issues, constitutional issues, election matters, wage and hour issues and other matters which arise in day-to-day operations.

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Employment Trends Now

Catherine Tallerico

As we move into the second quarter of 2018, a few workplace trends to watch for are below:

1) Sexual Harassment.  The #MeToo movement demonstrates that workplace harassment remains a persistent problem.  Thirty-six percent of all Colorado charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions (EEOC) last year related to sexual harassment. Workplace harassment affects all workers and causes a drag on performance.  It’s time to take a hard look at sexual harassment policies, complaint and investigation procedures, and training programs. Best practices to ensure a safe and productive workplace include:

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TICK-TOCK


TIME FOR EMPLOYER’S TO REVIEW “USE IT OR LOSE IT” VACATION POLICIES

Submitted by Catherine Tallerico.

On January 1, 2015, a new Colorado Wage Protection Act (“Act”) went into effect, expanding wage claims under the Colorado Wage Act.  The Act gives the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment, Division of Labor (DOL) new enforcement authority to adjudicate complaints for unpaid wages, including earned vacation time.  The DOL’s authority to adjudicate vacation pay claims arises from the Wage Act’s definition of “wages” to include “vacation pay earned in accordance with the terms of an agreement.” Additionally, “if an employer provides paid vacation for an employee, the employer shall pay upon separation from employment all vacation pay earned and determinable in accordance with the terms of any agreement between the employer and the employee.” Colo. Rev. Stat. § 8-4-101.

Last summer, the DOL made statements indicating an intent to find “use it or lose it” vacation policies in violation of the Act.  Such statement would have constituted a change in the DOL’s prior position in which it had permitted such policies so long as the risk of forfeiture was clearly set forth in an agreement.

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Pregnancy and the Americans with Disabilities Act


Submitted by Catherine Tallerico.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) requires that a covered employer treat women affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions the same as other applicants or employees who are similarly situated in their ability or inability to work.  The PDA covers all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, promotions and fringe benefits.  Pregnant workers are protected from discrimination based on current pregnancy, past pregnancy and potential pregnancy.

The United States Supreme Court decided the Young v. UPS case in March 2015.  UPS had a light duty policy which only applied to those injured on the job or those suffering from a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.  A pregnant woman who had lifting restrictions due to her pregnancy was therefore not entitled to light duty work.  The Court held that UPS’s practice could be discriminatory in that it failed to provide light duty to the pregnant employee even though other workers who were similar in their ability or inability to work were permitted light duty work.  The Court sent the case back to a lower court for trial.

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Top Ten Legal Issues with Social Media


In a world where we are permanently connected to our “devices” and frequent “status” updates are the norm, special districts often struggle to define the appropriate role social media can play in their organizations.  Issues such as ensuring that employees are posting appropriate material, maintaining consistent messaging, addressing vulgar, offensive or harassing comments, protecting private information and using social media to provide better services to the public can overwhelm a special district.

At this year’s SDA Conference, on Friday, September 12, 2014 at 10:15 am in Torreys Peak II, Catherine Tallerico will discuss these topics and many others.  Catherine’s discussion will present the Top Ten Legal Issues with Social Media.  This enlightening session will explore the potential legal issues that may arise as social media is integrated into special districts.  Catherine will provide recommendations on the best policies and procedures districts can implement to maximize the benefits and avoid the unwanted pitfalls of social media.

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Serving The Entire State Of Colorado
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Longmont Office

515 Kimbark Street, Second Floor
Longmont, CO 80502
Phone: 303-776-9900 
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363 Centennial Parkway, Suite 110
Louisville, CO 80027
Phone: 720-726-3670 
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748 Whalers Way, Suite # 240A
Fort Collins, CO 80525
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