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Denver Employment Law Blog

More on discriminatory hiring and recruiting

A previous post on this blog talked about how several well-known companies are facing allegations from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, that they engaged in discriminatory recruiting practices. The issue was that these employers either placed, or allowed, Facebook ads that were selectively shown both to people under 40 and to men.

There are in fact a number of ways employers in the Denver area can run into legal trouble in how they conduct their recruiting and hiring process. Likewise, employers also need to be careful when promoting employees internally, as an employer is not allowed to discriminate in the advancement of employees any more than in hiring and firing decisions.

Do you have rights if your employer doesn't pay your bonus?

Top executives and sales professionals receive competitive pay to attract them to work at a company. Many businesses will go a step beyond that in order to incentivize the best possible performance for their staff. In addition to base pay and commissions, some successful companies offer performance-based bonuses to sales staff, executives and managers.

These bonuses can represent a significant amount of a worker's annual income. It is not uncommon for those hoping to secure a bonus to go above and beyond for their employer in terms of the number of hours worked and how much effort they make at the company. When you fulfill all of the obligations to secure a bonus and your employer doesn't pay it out, it can feel like a betrayal.

Recent action reinforces that discriminatory recruiting is wrong

The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, recently filed formal allegations against several companies accusing them of unlawful targeted recruiting that, according to the allegations, was designed to discourage older workers, and in some cases women, from applying for certain positions.

According to some experts, this action represents the first time the EEOC has formally applied anti-discrimination laws to online targeted advertising, such as through Facebook. In this context, targeting advertising is the practice of using a social media platform, like Facebook, to make sure that certain groups of people see ads for open positions, while others do not see these ads.

Representing employees in misclassification cases

A previous post on this blog reported that new federal standards governing who can and cannot be classified as a salaried employee exempt from overtime and other wage rules are promising to change the landscape of workplaces both in Colorado and throughout the country.

Basically, the new rules raise the minimum salary threshold from $23,000 to $35,500, meaning that employers must now guarantee at least a salary of $35,500 to an employee before the employer can take advantage of overtime exemptions for certain executive, administrative and professional employees who typically do not get paid by the hour.

Seek wages you're owed with protection from the law

There is nothing worse than feeling as if your employer is not paying you for the time you've been spending on the job. Whether it's a few missing hours of pay each week or paychecks that never seem to add up correctly, you may be confused and frustrated. The good news is that Colorado has steps in place to help you seek the compensation that you're owed from your employer. Employers who don't pay could be fined or penalized for their actions. Best of all, you may be able to stay out of court if you are owed $7,500 or less in wages.

The Colorado Wage Protection Act is making significant changes in how the state's wage and hour laws work. The Wage Protection Act was implemented in January 2015 and established a procedure to help adjudicate situations where there were unpaid wages of $7,500 or less per employee. The new act also increased the fines that employers could have imposed on them for making these errors in payments. The act also provides for attorneys' fees if the employees were paid less than minimum wage.

New federal overtime rules finalized

After a protracted battle that included a lawsuit against the former Administration, the United States Department of Labor finalized new overtime rules.

These new rules will mean that 1.3 million employees will either be getting raises or will start drawing overtime under federal law.

What can you do if your employer isn't paying your commission?

If you work in sales, the amount that you make often depends on the number of sales you close and the overall price tag associated with those transactions. Many employers use a commission system to motivate salespeople to do the best that they can. Some may not even pay salespeople an hourly wage or a salary, meaning the staff becomes dependent on commissions for income.

It is common for businesses to offer commission based on the number of sales someone makes or as a percentage of the sale you close, with reasonable adjustments made for discounts offered to customers or clients. Some companies will pay more in commission the more sales you close, offering higher commission rates to people who are in their top tier of salespeople. Other companies will put a cap on commissions, effectively reducing the income of their top salespeople.

Some may be using #MeToo as a reason to discriminate

Generally speaking, the #MeToo movement has given a lot of people the courage to speak up about sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior in the work environment. This has been a positive thing for the most part, since no employee in Colorado should have to endure sexual harassment.

However, it has recently come to light that, instead of just making the necessary reforms to make the work environment better, some employers are using the #MeToo movement as a reason not to give women opportunities to advance their careers. According to one report, 21% of male workers with hiring authority and even 12% of females with hiring authority admitted that, in the wake of the movement, they would be less likely to hire women for positions that involved close contact with men, like positions that involved frequent business travel.

Don't stand for age discrimination in the workplace

As you've gotten older, there have been times when you thought that you were being treated differently at work because of it. You know that you're not young or as spry as you once were, but you have a solid education in your field and can stand tall among the best in your arena.

Recently, things have been getting out of hand. You went to talk to a supervisor about a project, and he laughingly told you to, "Hold on a minute, old man." You don't think he or others, who are younger than you, are taking you seriously, and you've started to notice changes in the level of respect you receive.

We work to make sure Colorado employees get overtime pay

It seems like a pretty basic idea that employees in this state should get paid what the state's laws say they are owed. For instance, Colorado has a minimum wage law, an workers should get paid at least that wage for the time that they are doing work for their employers.

Likewise, employees who put time into their jobs beyond 40 hours of week should ordinarily get extra overtime pay.

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