Yesterday, on August 10, 2016, Colorado’s HB 16-1438 took effect. This legislation creates new obligations on employers of ALL sizes and increases their risk of litigation by making it an “unfair labor practice” to deny pregnancy-related accommodations like (among others):
- more frequent or longer rest breaks,
- modified equipment or seating,
- temporary transfer to a less strenuous or hazardous position,
- job restructuring, or
- modified work schedules.
Like the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), this new law provides for an “undue hardship” defense, as well as insulation from punitive damages if the employer can establish reasonable “good faith” efforts to engage in the “interactive process” toward making a reasonable accommodation. And like the ADA, the employers’ conduct in the “interactive process” will become the crucial issue that ultimately determines liability. For that reason, HR professoinals and managers must understand how to document the “interactive process” in a manner that establishes their good faith.
Fortunately for employers, TECHNOLOGY (e.g., numerous Apps, videoconferencing) make providing “reasonable accommodations” easier than ever before, while ensuring that the job’s essential functions actually get done. Once familiar with these workplace technologies, employers can engage more intelligently in the “interactive process,” proposing accommodations that meet the needs of both employee and employer.
This webinar will explore HB 16-1438’s new requirements, including its expansion of the “adverse action” element governing retaliation claims and several other blatantly employee-friendly (and trial lawyer-friendly) provisions. More importantly, this webinar will offer practical suggestions for how employers of ALL SIZES can adapt to this new law by relying on technology more than ever before.