Employment Discrimination in Colorado

Avoid employment discrimination against protected classes in Colorado.

What are the protected classes in Colorado?

In all 50 states, federal law makes it illegal to discriminate based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)
  • Disability
  • Age (40 and older)
  • Citizenship status
  • Genetic information

In addition, Colorado state law also prohibits discrimination based on:

  • Race
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions)
  • Disability: Physical, mental, or learning
  • Age (40 and older)
  • Sexual orientation (including perceived sexual orientation)
  • Lawful conduct outside of work
  • Mental illness
  • Transgender status
  • Marital status: Employers with more than 25 employees may not fire or refuse to hire someon because he or she is married to or plans to marry another employee, or enter in a civil union with another employee. (This protection doesn't apply if one employee would supervisor or audit the other, or one has access to confidential information.)

How many employees must a company in Colorado have to be subject to antidiscrimination laws?

Under federal law, companies with 15 or more employees are covered by Title VII, the primary law prohibiting employment discrimination, the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, which prohibits discrimination based on genetic information. Companies with 20 or more employees are subject to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the federal law that prohibits discrimination against employees 40 years or older. Companies with four or more employees must comply with the employment discrimination provisions of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of citizenship status. And all companies of any size must pay men and women equally for doing equal work, by virtue of the Equal Pay Act.

In Colorado, companies with one or more employees are subject to the state's antidiscrimination law (except, as noted above, for the prohibition on discriminating against married employees or those in a civil union).

What government agency regulates workplace discrimination in Colorado?

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is the federal agency that regulates workplace discrimination. You can contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by calling 800-669-4000 or check out its website at www.eeoc.gov. The website will help you locate an EEOC field office in Colorado.

The Civil Rights Division enforces state antidiscrimination law in Colorado. You can contact the Civil Rights Division at 303-894-2997 or 800-262-4845 or go to its website.

For more information on employment discrimination, see The Manager's Legal Handbook, by attorneys Lisa Guerin and Amy DelPo (Nolo).

Last updated on 3/27/14.

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