Legislative Updates

New Laws (and Orders) you need to be aware of.

Overtime Minimum Pay Standards

The Colorado Department of Labor and Compensation (DLC) is recommending changes to the Colorado Overtime Minimum Pay Standards Order (COMPS Order) – click here to read the full order. There are two significant changes recommended in this order that we want you to be aware of. On January 1, 2020, Colorado’s overtime threshold will be $35,308 a year. That means any full-time employee who makes less than $35,308 annually must be paid overtime for any time over 12 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. Under the newly proposed rule, the threshold would increase to $42,500 on July 1, 2020, and then by $3,000 each year until 2026 when it will be $57,500 a year. In the past, only employees in Retail & Service, Food & Beverage, Commercial Support Service, and Health & Medical were covered by the COMPS Order. The revised rule expands the order to cover...

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Wage Theft

HB19-1267 Concerning penalties for failure to pay wages goes into effect on 1/1/2020.  A summary of what the bill does is below:   The act defines wage theft as theft, which is a felony when the theft is of an amount greater than $2,000. The act adds refusing to pay wages or compensation with the intent to coerce a person who is owed wages as conduct that constitutes wage theft. The act removes the exemption from criminal penalties for an employer who is unable to pay wages or compensation because of a chapter 7 bankruptcy action or other court action resulting in the employer having limited control over his or her assets. The act defines "employee" as any person who performs labor or services for the benefit of an employer and provides factors that are relevant for determining whether a person is an employee. The act defines "employer" as having the...

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City & County of Denver Minimum Wage

The City & County of Denver has adopted a local minimum wage ordinance that goes into effect on January 1, 2020.  The wage scale in the ordinance is as follows: $12.85 per hour on Jan. 1, 2020 $14.77 per hour on Jan. 1, 2021  $15.87 per hour on Jan. 1, 2022  Annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index each year thereafter. The tip credit of $3.02 from the state constitution applies to the Denver wage ordinance.  In 2020, the tipped minimum wage in Denver will be $9.83/hour.

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Changes to the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act (CCIAA)

HB19-1076 Concerning updates to the "Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act", and removing certain exceptions and adding provisions relevant to the use of electronic smoking devices removed the prior provision in statute that allowed for up to 20% of hotel rooms to be designated as smoking.  Under the new statute, no hotel rooms in Colorado can be designated as smoking.  In addition, the bill added vaping and e-cigarettes to the definition of smoking – anywhere smoking is prohibited vaping and e-cigarettes is also be prohibited.  The bill went into effect on July 1, 2019.

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Marijuana Hospitality Establishments

Pending approval from local licensing authorities, HB19-1230 Concerning marijuana hospitality establishments authorizes legal cannabis hospitality spaces in which legal cannabis may be consumed on site.  Dual consumption of alcohol and marijuana would not be permitted in the cannabis hospitality spaces under this bill. This bill goes into effect on January 1, 2020; however, nothing will happen until/unless a municipality adopts an ordinance to legalize these establishments within their boundaries.

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Delivery of Regulated Marijuana

HB-1234 Concerning allowing delivery of regulated marijuana by regulated marijuana sellers creates marijuana delivery permits for licensed medical marijuana centers and transporters and licensed retail marijuana stores and transporters that allow the centers, stores, and transporters to deliver medical marijuana, medical marijuana-infused products, retail marijuana, and retail marijuana products to customers.  This bill went into effect on August 2, 2019; however, delivery is not legalized until/unless a municipality adopts an ordinance to legalize.

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Community Association Manager Licensing Program

HB-1212 Concerning the recreation of the community association manager licensing program recreates and reenacts the CAM licensing program and the duties and responsibilities of the division of real estate and its director with regard to CAM licensing, as they existed on June 30, 2018, with amendments reflecting an extended sunset date of September 1, 2024.  This bill went into effect on October 1, 2019.

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Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

SB19-085 Concerning the creation of the "Equal Pay for Equal Work Act" in order to implement measures to prevent pay disparities/changes the process for enforcement of wage discrimination complaints based on an employee's sex and requires employers to 1) advertise opportunities for promotion, including salary, to all current employees 2) disclose a proposed salary range in all job listings and 3) prohibits an employer from requesting an applicant’s salary history. This bill takes effect on January 1, 2021.

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Ballot Initiatives

In 2019, MDLC worked closely with other stakeholders to ensure the defeat of the Right to Survive Initiative. This initiative would have:  1) prohibits Denver from enforcing essential laws that protect public safety, 2) allows people to occupy all outdoor public places, including parks and sidewalks, indefinitely, 3) eliminates all park curfews, 4) allows for people to permanently park and live in cars, and 4) allows for unfettered distribution of food in public spaces. MDLC remains committed to working with the City and stakeholders to find meaningful and appropriate solutions to Denver’s homelessness challenges.

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Tourism Improvement District

The MDLC Board, in partnership with VISIT DENVER was successful in implementing Denver’s Tourism Improvement District.  The District was approved by the electors in November of 2018 and the 1% folio tax took effect on January 1, 2018.  Money generated from the tax will provide funding for:  1)  renovations to the Colorado Convention Center, 2) additional marketing funds for VISIT DENVER as appropriated by the TID Board and 3) beginning in year four, capital improvements to the Colorado Convention Center.

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Homelessness

Throughout 2017, the City came under fire by homeless advocate groups who are demanding the City repeal the camping ordinance. The MDLC held several meetings with the Mayor’s staff and members of City Council to ensure they understand the importance of keeping the camping ban in place. The Mayor and the majority members of Council remain committed to keeping the ordinance in place and are working on alternative solutions to the homeless issues that plague the City. Denver Homeless Out Loud’s Right to Survive ballot initiative was certified by the Denver Clerk and Recorder and will appear on the May 2019 municipal election ballot. In addition to repealing Denver’s Sit and Lie and Camping Ban ordinances, this initiative would also repeal all curfews for City parks and property. MDLC is actively engaged in Together Denver, the campaign to defeat...

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Green Roofs Initiative

Following the recommendation of the Task Force, last October, the Denver City Council passed a green buildings ordinance to replace the Green Roofs Initiative that was passed by voters in 2017.  MDLC actively participated on the Task Force that drafted the green building ordinance and we believe that the new law honors the will of the voters who called for more sustainable development in Denver, while fixing the legal and practical challenges of the original ordinance.   Under the new ordinance, both new and existing buildings will be able to find viable, flexible options for contributing to Denver’s climate goals – at a cost to implement of 20% – 90% less than the previous green roofs initiative.  Click here for more information on the green building ordinance, including information on obtaining a roof permit.

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Short-Term Online Rentals

The short-term online rentals ordinance that was passed by the Denver City Council in 2016 requires that all short-term rentals all hosts register and remit lodger’s tax to the City.  Additional information on the City’s short-term rental ordinance and the online registration system can be found by clicking here.

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16th Street Mall Smoking Ban

After several months of stakeholder work, the Denver City Council approved the Breath Easy on the 16th Street Mall Ordinance, which bans all smoking, including vaporizers and e-cigarettes from the 16th Street Mall in mid- 2017. The MDLC Board supported the “Breathe Easy on the 16th Street Mall” ordinance.

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Security Guard License

In October, 2017, the Denver City Council adopted revisions to the Security Guard Licensure ordinance.  This ordinance requires that all security guards, both in-house and third party, receive a license from the City prior to beginning work as a security guard.  Properties that have in-house security are required to obtain a Private Security Company License AND all security guards must individually obtain a Security Guard License.  For more information on the ordinance, including license requirements, please click here.

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Gender Neutral Restrooms

The Denver City Council approved an amendment to the building code that changes signage requirements for single-stall restrooms. Single-stall restrooms that had were previously required to be signed as “men’s” or “women’s” will become gender-neutral. No changes to fixtures for these restrooms are required by this change; however, new signage for existing restrooms was required to be installed. This change does not apply to multiple-stall restrooms.

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Energize Denver

Denver’s benchmarking ordinance requires owners of buildings over 25,000 square feet to annually benchmark the energy use. The City’s programs also engage tenants to improve energy efficiency of their spaces and provide resources to improve the efficiency of buildings.  Click here to learn more about Energize Denver.

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Cannabis Consumption Licenses

In November 2016, Denver voters approved Initiative 300, which created a four-year pilot program to allow businesses to apply for permits to allow for the social consumption of marijuana. Applicants for permits for Cannabis Consumption Licenses are required to have approval from city-registered neighborhood organization or Business Improvement District. CHLA President, Amie Mayhew served on the Committee the City formed to oversee the implementation of initiative 300.

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