Consumer Advisory: Avoid employment/employee discrimination
During holiday time, the Colorado Civil Rights Division encourages heightened awareness of state anti-discrimination laws
DENVER (Dec. 23, 2015) -- The holidays are not only a unique time of year for consumers, but also for the employers and employees that serve them. With the spike of temporary, seasonal employment opportunities that continue through the New Year, the Colorado Civil Rights Division, part of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), can help employees to know their rights, as well as remind and educate employers about Colorado’s anti-discrimination and public accommodation laws. Employers and employees are encouraged to take five minutes to get more aware of these laws.
Imagine if this type of scenario happens at a jobsite, a housing unit or at a place of public accommodation…
- A properly qualified 75-year-old is not hired for a seasonal job at a food service outlet--despite that he was qualified under the employer’s job description--and the hiring manager told the applicant that he was not hired because he had questions about his physical stamina due to his age.
- The holiday season is a busy time at the drive-up coffee shop, and a manager denies an employee’s request to take time off for religious purposes. He now requires that the employee work extra hours. There had been no advance notice to the employee that these working hours, outside of 9-5, might be a required part of the job.
Employers: Do you know if you are complying with Colorado’s anti-discrimination laws?
Employees: Do you know your rights?
Discrimination can be based on: Age (Employment only); Ancestry; Creed; Color; Disability; Familial (family) Status (Housing only); Marital Status (Housing and Public Accommodations only); Marriage to Co- worker (Employment only); National Origin; Race; Religion; Sex; Sexual Orientation (including transgender status); and/or, Retaliation for engaging in a civil rights-protected activity.
The Colorado Civil Rights Division offers the following tips:
Age and Employment
Unless age is a bona-fide occupational qualification which is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular business or enterprise, it may be discriminatory to presume that a person's age prevents them from performing the job. It is not discriminatory to ask "Can you perform the essential job functions of this position?" and, if it is asked of all applicants, the employer may ask the applicant for a demonstration or verbal description of how he or she would perform the essential job functions.
Religion and Hours of Work
Unless it is reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the particular business or enterprise, it may be discriminatory to require a person to work hours different from those usually assigned if the assignment was based on the employee’s request for leave due to religious reasons. It may be discriminatory to ask any questions in hiring in the area of religion that, if answered, would reveal religious affiliation, denomination, customs, holidays observed or the name of the minister.
Visit the Colorado Civil Rights Division for information on the state's antidiscrimination laws, free educational classes, or to file a complaint of discrimination in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodation.