Stacy Jensen No Comments

Changes to Employer’s ability to deduct for unreturned Company Property

Effective January 1, 2023, the process for attempting to recoup unreturned company property from Colorado employees will become more laborious. It has been necessary to obtain a “receipt of company property” form in order to attempt a deduction in the past, and still will be, but we will now need to take a couple of more steps in order to ensure we are on the right side of the CDLE. Whenever any company property is issued to an employee, ensure that you are including the date it is received, description of item, cost of the item, and the appropriate language on the form to ensure a proper deduction can be made (please use the InTANDEM HR form or something that contains the same approved language). Going forward, in addition, if the property is not returned, in order to deduct the fair market value from final pay, an employer must provide notice to the employee within 10 days of separation containing 1). a written accounting specifying the amount of money or the specific property the employee failed to return (so this includes unpaid loans) 2). the replacement value of the property (fair market value) 3). date the property/money was given to the employee 4) when the employee should have paid the money or returned the goods.

Then, if they do pay the money or give the property back within 14 days of the notice, the employer must pay back the employee the amount of the deduction within 14 days of getting the money/property back.

I cannot express how frequently I get questions about unreturned company property. It is a thing. Now is the time to shore up your process – get those forms signed, make sure employees understand the expectation of returning everything, and let’s get used to the new process now.

Stacy Jensen No Comments

Prep time for S.B. 22-161!

Senate Bill 22-161 ups the ante for employer wage mishaps. Beginning January 1, 2023, employers who don’t pay owed wages within 14 days will face an automatic penalty of either two times the amount of the unpaid wages, or $1,000, whichever is greater. For proven willful violations, that goes up to three times or $3,000. Employees can now make demands for similarly situated employees on their behalf, as well as on their own.

Stacy Jensen No Comments

Changes to Colorado labor law Postings

Two recent changes in Colorado employment law require updates to your labor law postings:

#1 the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has updated their Workers’ Compensation – Notice of Injury notice. The updated notice reflects a new law that changes the requirement for reporting injuries to an employer from four days to ten days. Any other written policies or procedures outlining the process for reporting injuries should be update as well.

#2 The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies has updated their Discrimination in Employment notice. The updated notice reflects a new law extending the time limit to file a charge of employment discrimination with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission from 6 months to 300 days after the alleged discriminatory or unfair practice occurred.

InTANDEM HR has emailed our clients a copy of both of these updated posters and uploaded the electronic version to the Employee’s Self-Service portal online.

Stacy Jensen No Comments

A change to Colorado’s Noncompete Agreements

August 10th, 2022, will mark the ban of non-compete clauses handed to workers in Colorado who make less than $101,250 in 2022, and will be adjusted annually by the Colorado Department of Labor. Colorado’s new limit aligns with the very top of the “low wage” non-compete thresholds set by Washington state and Oregon. The Bill’s prohibitions will also apply to customer non-solicits, but excludes employees earning equal to or greater than 60% of the highly compensated threshold – roughly $60,750 in 2022.

Any restrictive covenants that is given to a candidate prior to accepting a job has to be given to them prior to accepting employment, and given to a current employee at least 14 days prior to the effective date of the covenant. Notices of a restrictive covenant must: (1) be provided with a copy of non-compete; (2) identify the agreement by name and state that the agreement contains a non-compete; and (3) direct the worker to specific sections or paragraphs of the agreement that contain the non-compete.

Any business that requires a non-compete or non-solicit of their candidates or current employees should obtain the counsel or an employment law attorney to ensure these documents are prepared legally and are enforceable.

Stacy Jensen No Comments

IRS raises federal mileage rate mid-year

Rising gas prices have inspired the Internal Revenue Service to increase the “optional standard mileage rate” used to calculate tax deductions by 4 cents a mile for the last six months of 2022. This adjustment is normally not made mid-year.

The optional adjustment starts July 1 and brings the IRS rate to 62.5 cents per mile. It comes after a 2.5-cent increase went into effect in January and represents the first mid-year adjustment made since 2011, the IRS said.

  • Taxpayers use the rate to calculate the “deductible costs of operating an automobile for business and certain other purposes” instead of tracking actual costs.
  • It’s also used as a benchmark by the federal government and many businesses to reimburse their employees for mileage. 

Employers do not have to mirror the federal rate nor legally offer gas reimbursement.

Stacy Jensen No Comments

Colorado’s Sick leave law challenged by Southwest Airlines

Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) mandates paid sick leave as well as COVID related PHE pay, and Southwest Airlines is suing because of it. According to court documents, Southwest claims the HFWA “imposes a pervasive and comprehensive paid sick leave scheme on employers.”

Their beef is not in providing paid sick leave benefits, which they assert they already do, but rather with the complete lack of ability they now have to require proof of illness when employees take sick leave. The HFWA only allows employers to request substantiation of paid sick leave taken under the act when illnesses have extended beyond four or more consecutive days. This means that an airline attendant, for example, seeking to take sick leave under the HFWA could communicate their illness with no advanced notice, potentially resulting in delays or cancellations of flights, they assert.

Because of union negotiations, based on collective bargaining agreements, the airline said their existing sick leave policy allows the company to monitor absences to ensure sick leave is not abused and to comply with federal safety rules. Unlike the HFWA restrictions, their former sick leave plan regulates discipline for abuse of sick time, including disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

This will be a fascinating one to watch, from the ground.

Stacy Jensen No Comments

20223 HSA Limits announced

The IRS has announced the 2023 HSA contribution limits. The annual limit on HSA contributions for self-only coverage will be $3,850. This is an increase of $200 from the contribution limit of $3,650 in 2022. The annual contribution limit for family coverage will increase $450 from the 2022 limit to a total of $7,750 for 2023. This is a significant increase of about 5.5 percent, while the increase from 2021 to 2022 was only about 1.4 percent. The annual catch-up contribution for individuals 55 and over will remain at $1,000. Employees should take these limits into consideration as they plan ahead for their 2023 open enrollment changes and elections. With the increased limits, employers may consider adjusting contribution or match amounts for the 2023 benefit year, as well.

Stacy Jensen No Comments

Federal government extends PHE 9 Times

This week the Department of Health extended the federal Public Health Emergency yet again. The public health emergency was initially declared in January 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic began. It has been renewed each quarter since and was due to expire on April 16. Effective 4/16/2022, it will be extended for 90 days, through mid-July. The government indicated they would give states 60 days notice prior to termination or expiration. Keep in mind that in Colorado, that means employer’s obligation to provide PHE pay for applicable COVID related reasons extends for four weeks beyond the ending of any federal PHE, so this puts us at an obligation not ending sooner than August 15, 2022. We will update you when the federal PHE does eventually expire.

Stacy Jensen No Comments

Federal government extends PHE for 8th Time

On January 14th, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services extended the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) for an additional 90 days. In Colorado, the Healthy Family Workplaces Act mandates supplemental PHE pay for the following reasons:

  • illness with COVID symptoms
  • quarantining or isolating due to COVID exposure
  • COVID testing
  • vaccination and side effects
  • inability to work due to health conditions that may increase susceptibility or risk of COVID
  • COVID-related needs of family (illness, school closure, etc.). 

The extension of the federal PHE means that the PHE will remain in effect until at least April 16, 2022, and the HFWA COVID-19 pay requirement will then continue another four weeks following that date. Keep in mind, however, that there is no guarantee the federal PHE will not be extended again, hence extending Colorado’s mandatory PHE pay requirement.

Stacy Jensen No Comments

Denver current mask order to end

Mayor Michael B. Hancock announced January 31, 2022 that Denver’s face covering order will expire on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022. The public health order requiring face coverings indoors, or proof of vaccination in lieu of face coverings, will not be extended. The order was initially implemented in November, and was extended in December. Employers may choose to take the approach of continuing to require vaccines and/or masks.