Colorado employers are likely familiar with the INFO sheets published by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (“CDLE”). These INFOs serve as a guide to the CDLE’s interpretation of applicable employment and labor laws. But did you know these INFOs are regularly updated with no fanfare or notice, leaving employers who aren’t regularly checking the INFO page out of the loop and potentially caught unaware should a CDLE investigation commence?
In fact, there have been dozens of changes and additions over the past several months, including to INFO sheets that savvy employers have been using to structure policies and procedures since they were first rolled out. Here's a summary of recent updates to INFOs implemented over the summer you may have missed.
- As promised in the previous version of INFO #2, the CDLE has updated its INFO sheets on the Wage Claim investigation process, transforming a single summary sheet into five separate INFO sheets: one high-level overview sheet, one focusing on the wage claim process, one focusing on penalties and fines, another on the appeals process, and the last on the enforcement process. These new INFOs (#2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D) provide more detailed information on how wage and hour investigations are conducted, what fines and penalties the employer may face, if they are determined to be liable, and how to navigate appeals and enforcement actions.
- INFO #2C, in addition to covering all the same information previously located in INFO #18, now includes examples of when hearing officers have, and have not, found there to be good cause to admit new evidence during a wage and hour appeal.
- INFO #3 previously covered information relevant to tipped employees under applicable Colorado wage law. Now, INFO #3 provides a high level summary of wages and compensation under Colorado wage law instead. INFOs #3A, 3B, 3C, 3D, and 3E expand upon the new INFO #3’s summary.
- INFO #3A discusses the requirements related to timing and form of wage payments and recordkeeping. It includes much of the content previously found in INFO #7, with the rest moved to INFO #3B.
- INFO #3B expands upon how companies should pay their employees, including how employers should handle stock options and material goods given as compensation. This is a brand-new INFO sheet, and all employers should take the time to review it, particularly those who provide non-cash compensation to their employees.
- INFO #3C includes all the information previously found in INFO #3 but adds additional clarification on service charges, manager and supervisor tip sharing, and tip pooling.
- INFO #3D’s content is the same as what was previously found in INFO #17 (related to bonuses and commissions), with added case law in support of the Division’s examples and a few other tweaks that may, or may not, have been intended to correct scrivener's errors in the first version.
- INFO #3E is the same as what was previously found in INFO #14 (related to payment of earned vacation at separation of employment), with additional citations to case law.
- INFO # 6 has been updated with the new (as of August 2023) reasons for leave under the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act ("HFWA") and to clearly state public health emergency leave for the COVID-19 pandemic is no longer required under Colorado law.
- Similarly, INFO #6B was also updated to add the new reasons for leave under HFWA and illustrative examples of each of these reasons. INFO #6B also reminds employers that the minimum amounts of paid leave required under Colorado law cannot be waived in a collective bargaining agreement.
- INFO #9 contains considerable updates delineating the new requirements under the recently passed amendments to the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. These amendments contain new exceptions to previous notification requirements and new post-selection notice duties for employers, as well as a description of investigation actions within the CDLE’s jurisdiction. This is another INFO sheet that warrants close review by employers, as these changes are not the most intuitive and impose affirmative obligations on all employers - an unwary employer could easily find itself out of compliance.
- INFO #10 is a brand-new INFO sheet that covers worker classifications under Colorado law and provides a framework the CDLE suggests companies use to evaluate if a worker should properly be classified as an independent contractor or an employee.
- INFO #15C is new guidance on the Protections for Public Worker Act, explaining the rights afforded to state and local government employees not covered by the state personnel system or by the Collective Bargaining by County Employees Act under that law.
- INFO #19 has been updated to include tables of relevant minimum wage scales and unemployment numbers.
All updated and new INFOs may be accessed at the CDLE's website here. We are here to help with the questions that employers will almost certainly have after digging in.