Spring into action: Conference to focus on employment issues

Michael Santo

Human resource professionals seek the best ways to help organizations and employees succeed. To navigate these paths, they must keep up with ever-changing employment laws, policies and best practices. 

The past 15 months have been memorable on many fronts, but especially for employers coping with new requirements for sick leave and posting job openings as well as new wage and hour rules. That’s in addition to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The coming year will bring changes to unemployment insurance, questions about administering vaccines in the workplace and — really — who knows what else?  

The Western Colorado Human Resource Association will join with attorneys from the Bechtel, Santo & Severn law firm in Grand Junction to present a spring conference and legal update to help HR professionals, business owners and managers and others navigate the changing environment.

Conference topics will include:

Legislative and case law update. The conference will cover changes in employment law HR professionals and others need to know as well as what they need to look out for in the near future.

Implementing legislative changes. Now that HR professionals know about the changes, what should their organizations do about them? Attorneys from Bechtel, Santo & Severn will offer insights and tips as well as policies and practices to ensure organizations prepare for and comply with changes. The Colorado Healthy Families and Workplace Act and Equal Pay for Equal Work Act enacted last year created new challenges. The conference will help participants address changes whether their organizations are large, small or somewhere in between.

Unemployment insurance changes. The COVID-19 pandemic profoundly changed unemployment insurance benefits in 2020 and will continue to present challenges in 2021. Some of the topics that will be covered at the conference include expanded eligibility, fraudulent claims and expectations for the coming year. 

Wage and hour developments. The Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards (COMPS) Order No. 37 made several meaningful changes for businesses of all sizes. New standards define exempt employees, set new expectations for travel expenses and a higher minimum wage threshold and affect breaks and meals policies. Employers need to know about the changes to operate lawfully as well as smoothly.

Drugs and the workplace. This forward-looking presentation will focus on changes in the legality of recreational drugs and the effects on the workplace.