2014 Legislative Summary

We want to make you aware of these new Arizona and Colorado laws affecting employers. Wyoming made no significant employment-related changes in its last legislative session.

Arizona legislative summary

HB 14-2221 provides for procedures that are more stringent for physicians who prescribe controlled substances for individuals being treated for workers’ compensation injuries. In addition, it requires that workers’ compensation insurers and self-insured employers provide drug rehabilitation treatment for any individuals who become addicted to opioids as the result of treatment of a work-related injury. The new law goes into effect July 24, 2014.

SB 14-1391 permits schools to require non-certificated personnel to provide a fingerprint clearance card as a condition of employment. The new law goes into effect July 24, 2014.

Colorado legislative summary HB 14-1383 increases the number of workers’ compensation physicians that Colorado employers must designate for injured workers from two to four. The new law goes into effect April 1, 2015.

SB 14-005, the Wage Protection Act amends Colorado law to assist employees in receiving unpaid wages more quickly. It also authorizes the director of the Division of Labor in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to establish an administrative procedure to adjudicate wage claims of $7,500 or less and issue citations and notices of assessments for the amounts due. While portions of the new law went into effect immediately upon the Gov. Hickenlooper’s signature on May 29, 2014, the major portions affecting employers will not take effect until January 1, 2015.

SB 14-019 amends Colorado’s tax code to line up with recent guidance from the Internal Revenue Service allowing same-sex couples legally married in states recognizing same-sex marriage to file joint tax returns even if they do not currently reside in a state recognizing same-sex marriage. The law took effect when signed by the governor on February 27, 2014.

SB 14-102 amends the Colorado Employment Opportunity to exclude banks and financial institutions from restrictions imposed by Colorado’s Employment Opportunity Act. Banks and financial institutions can once again conduct credit screening of tellers and other front-line positions. The law took effect March 27, 2014.

One workers’ compensation bill affecting public employers passed this session. HB 14-1343, which would have allowed peace officers to receive benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder did not pass, but a task force was established to study the issue.

Two bills we tracked closely did not pass this session. The first of these was SB 14-196, which would have created the family and medical insurance (FAMLI) program to provide partial wage replacement benefits to eligible individuals who take leave from work to care for a new child or a family member with a serious health condition or for their own serious health condition. The second bill, SB 14-074, would have repealed portions of a law that passed in 2013 expanding remedies available to employees in employment discrimination claims under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.

At the end of each year MSEC updates its Employment Law Guide.
In this update we also review state laws for Arizona, Colorado, Montana,
New Mexico, and Wyoming. This is a benefit of membership and we hope
you take advantage of it.