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September 2014 Archives

Do I need to pay my interns?

Internships are a great way for businesses to get some extra help while providing students with a valuable learning experience. Many years ago, it was widely accepted that most interns would work for no pay because it was viewed as a continued educational experience.

Poll: Denver investors happy with portfolios, economy

In past posts, we have discussed how the Denver area has become a hotspot for venture capital. Now a newly-released survey by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management suggests that the future of venture capital could also be bright for the sunny city of Denver.

What is the Family Care Act and How Does it Work with FMLA?

While civil unions and domestic partnerships are not federally recognized, new Colorado legislation expands the available types of leave for those employees in a civil union or unmarried relationship. In March 2013, Colorado passed the Colorado Civil Union Act, which authorizes any two unmarried adults, regardless of gender, to enter into a civil union. A "civil union" means a relationship established by two eligible persons that entitles them to receive the benefits and protections and be subject to the responsibilities of "spouses." As it relates to employment, these "benefits and protections" generally include worker's compensation survivor benefits, protection from discrimination based on marital status and unemployment benefits. The federal laws do not provide protections or benefits to domestic partnerships or civil unions, and couples who have entered into a civil union in Colorado are not eligible for federal spousal benefits like those arising under the Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA") or Employment Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA.")

Is an Employer Required to Allow Lactation Breaks?

In Colorado, the Workplace Accommodations for Nursing Mothers Act of 2008 ("Colorado Nursing Mothers Act") requires public and private employers who have one or more employees to provide reasonable, unpaid break time or permit an employee to use paid break time, meal time, or both, each day to allow the employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to two (2) years after the child's birth. An employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet seat, where an employee can express breast milk in privacy. Reasonable efforts mean any effort that would not impose an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business. Undue hardship means any action that requires significant difficulty or expense when considered in relation to factors such as the size of the business, the financial resources of the business, or the nature and structure of its operation, including consideration of the special circumstances of public safety. Before an employee may seek litigation for a violation of this section, there shall be nonbinding mediation between the employer and the employee.