New Colorado Laws Taking Effect in September

At the end of the 2021 Colorado legislative session, many new statutes took effect immediately. However, some take effect 90 days after the end of the session. This year, they take effect on September 7, 2021. Of interest to employers are:

Colorado has enacted a veterans preference law that allows private employers in the state to adopt and apply a veterans preference hiring policy if:

  • The policy applies uniformly to all hiring decisions;
  • The policy is in writing, public, and implemented at least 14 days before it is applied to any new job posting or hiring decision;
  • Eligible veterans are required to provide proof of service by submitting a copy of their discharge document (DD214); and
  • Eligible spouses of service members killed in the line of duty are required to provide proof of marriage to the service member and a copy of the service member’s DD214 and death certificate.

In addition, private employers in Colorado may advertise for and actively recruit veterans regardless of whether a veterans preference hiring policy is adopted.

See our previous article.

Also, the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) is amended to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.

Gender identity means an individual’s innate sense of gender, which may or may not correspond with the individual’s sex assigned at birth.

Gender expression means an individual’s way of reflecting and expressing gender to the outside world, typically demonstrated through appearance, dress, and behavior.

The definition of sexual orientation under the CADA is also amended.

And, finally, the 2019 “Ban the Box” law which applied to employers with 11 or more employees, now as of September 1, 2021, now applies to all employers. The Colorado Chance to Compete Act prohibits all employers from:

  • Advertising that a person with a criminal history may not apply for a position;
  • Stating on an employment application, including an electronic application, that a person with a criminal history may not apply for a position; or
  • Inquiring into, or requiring disclosure of, an applicant’s criminal history on an initial written or electronic application form.

In addition to other exceptions, an employer may obtain an applicant’s publicly available criminal background report at any time.

For more information on these or other employment statutes in Colorado, contact Employers Council.