What's That Very Important Thing You Should Know About That Is Happening In Colorado Wage And Hour Law?

Lady boss firing his colleague showing unfair treatment.

1. NLRB to more easily classify workers as “independent contractors” instead of employees, and by making it easier for large companies to have no stake in the illegal activities of their franchisee operations so that companies that profit off the operations of thousands of franchisees won’t be liable when their policies are wrongfully applied to workers;

2. Argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that LGBTQ employees are not protected by discrimination laws so such a worker can be fired just because of their gender or sexual orientation regardless of how good a worker that person is.

In light of these serious compromises to workers’ rights what is this thing that I’m calling “Very Important” that you need to know? Well it has to do with the fact that the restrictive and unfair federal laws that I describe above can be over-ridden by more favorable state laws. And those state laws can give more protection to workers than their federal counterparts. Over the course of the last several months our associate Adam Harrison and I have lobbied and presented official commentary about the rights of workers to fair treatment. Those comments and those of many others from interested parties committed to workers’ rights are now under serious consideration by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment through its official rule-making process. By the end of the year it’s my guess that the current state Executive Branch will come down with new rules and regulations—if not statutory enactments—that will respond to the withering away of workers’ rights that has been happening at the federal level. Of course everyone has an interest that legitimate business opportunities not be compromised by the enforcement of over-zealous government regulation. But in this case with the federal government having all but abandoned the rights of workers to stuff the pockets of the already wealthy 1% what Colorado does to provide justice for its working citizens and families is incredibly important. I end this column with the hope that within the next few months I will be able to report back to you about important worker-protective rights that are coming down in our state to “unrig” the system and make it more fair for those who work hard for a living.

In the meantime, please contact us if you believe that you have been unfairly or unlawfully treated under our state’s or even the federal wage and hour laws. It’s the area of justice we are committed to working towards with all our hearts.


Michael established The Sawaya Law Firm in 1977 and built it into one of the largest personal injury law firms in Colorado, with more than 20 lawyers and 80 staff members serving clients from five offices located in Denver, Greeley and Colorado Springs. Throughout its history, the firm has stayed true to its 12 Core Values, which emphasize excellence in advocacy and a commitment to providing outstanding client service. Michael studied sociology and economics as an undergraduate student at The Colorado College, and he earned his law degree from the Texas Tech University School of Law. In addition to being involved in several legal and community organizations, Michael enjoys playing music and cooking, and he has written a book on spiritual matters.