New Colorado Affirmation of Legal Work Status FAQs Released

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has released new FAQs, advising employers on how to comply with a 2006 state employment eligibility verification law. The FAQs are available here.

Colorado state law requires that all Colorado employers affirm that they have:

·         Examined the legal work status of the new employee;
·         Retained photocopies of the documentation that the employee provided for I-9 purposes;
·         Has not knowingly hired an unauthorized worker; and
·         Has not falsified any documents.
The affirmation is required for all employees hired after January 1, 2007 and must be completed within 20 days of hire. The form is available here. 
The new FAQs make clear that employers who failed to comply within 20 days of the employees’ hire date may not do so at a later time. Essentially, the CDLE wants employers to know that if they are out of compliance, they cannot fix their past mistakes but should ensure compliance going forward. 
The FAQs also re-affirm the “reckless disregard” standard that is necessary for employers to be held liable under the law. As such, the employer that cooperates with any CDLE audit and is in compliance upon a re-audit should not be fined at this time. However, because the CDLE is devoting considerable time and energy to educating employers, at some point, a non-compliant employer may be deemed to have recklessly disregarded the law even if it has not been through a previous compliance audit.