Some Criminal Offenses Do Not Automatically Warrant Denial Of Employment

Colorado Revised Statute Title 24 states: “The fact that a person has been convicted of a felony or other offense involving moral turpitude shall not, in and of itself, prevent the person from applying for and obtaining public employment or from applying for and receiving a license, certification, permit, or registration required by the laws of this state to follow any business, occupation, or profession.”

There are various exceptions, such as for individuals applying to work with vulnerable populations or as peace officers.

Effective August 3, 2019

Increased Eligibility For Criminal Record Sealing

Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 1275 (HB1275), which makes it easier for residents to have certain criminal records sealed. A summary of this bill provided by the Colorado General Assembly states that HB1275 makes it easier to seal criminal records when:

  • Charges are dismissed and the defendant is acquitted.
  • The defendant completes a diversion agreement for their criminal case.
  • The defendant completes a deferred judgment & sentence and all counts are dismissed.
  • If the offense is petty then a resident may request to have it sealed one year after the final disposition.
  • If the offense is a class 2 or 3 misdemeanor, then a resident may request to have it sealed two years after the final disposition.
  • If the offense is a class 4, 5, or 6 felony; a level 3 or 4 drug felony; or a class 1 misdemeanor, then a resident may request to have it sealed three years after the final disposition.
  • For all other offenses, a petition to seal may be filed five years after the final disposition.

HB1275 goes into effect on August 3, 2019.

Effective May 22, 2019

Equal Pay Legislation

Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed Senate Bill 85, known as the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. This legislation is designed to prevent gender-based wage discrimination. It states that Colorado employers:

  • May not discriminate between employees on the basis of gender.
  • May not pay one employee less than another for substantially similar work, regardless of job title.
  • Are prohibited from asking applicants about their salary history.
  • Are prohibited from relying on the salary history of an applicant to determine what compensation to offer, if that information is known.
  • May not discriminate or retaliate against a prospective employee for not providing their salary history.

Exceptions are made for:

  • Seniority
  • A merit system
  • A system that measures earning by quantity or quality of production.
  • Geographic location.
  • Varying levels of relevant education and experience.
  • Whether or not travel is required.

The Equal Pay for Equal Work Act goes into effect on January 1, 2021.

Effective May 28, 2019

Ban The Box

Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 1025, which created Ban the Box laws for CO employers. It prohibits employers from:

  • Including questions about criminal records on job applications.
  • Stating that having a criminal history automatically disqualifies an applicant on job applications or advertisements (unless existing law prohibits a person with a criminal record from obtaining a specific position).
  • Employers may run criminal background checks during the hiring process.

The Department of Labor and Employment will enforce these laws. An initial violation may result in warnings and an order of compliance. Additional violations could incur penalties.

Limitations Of Consumer Reports

Consumer Reporting Agencies may not product reports that include:

  • Cases under title 11 of the United States Code, or under the federal bankruptcy act that, from the date of entry of the order for relief or the date of adjudication, predate the report by more than ten years.
  • Any of the following that are more than seven years old:
    • Arrests, indictments or convictions.
    • Suits and judgments.
    • Paid tax liens.
    • Accounts that were placed for collection or charged to profit.
    • Other adverse information.

Employers can only use consumer credit reports if they are substantially related to the person’s current or potential job. They may be used if:

  • The employer is a bank or financial institution.
  • The report is required by law.
  • The report is substantially related to the employee's current or potential job, the employer has a bona fide purpose for requesting or using information in the credit report and the request to run a report is disclosed in writing to the employee.

If an employer wishes to take adverse action based on the results of a consumer credit report, the employer must disclose that fact in writing and list what specifically led to the decision.

Backgrounds Online provides details about State Laws for informational purposes only. We do not provide legal services. Nothing on these pages or our site should be considered as legal advice or opinion.