Labor Update: The Law and The Benefits
State Unemployment Benefits Extended
On Thursday, Aug. 13 the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced the availability of up to 13 weeks of state extended unemployment benefits (SEB) for those Coloradans who exhaust both their allotted 26 weeks of regular state unemployment benefits as well as the additional 13 weeks provided by the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensations (PEUC) program.
Claimants do not have to take any action to access the state extended benefits. The Division of Unemployment Insurance will review claims to determine SEB eligibility and notify claimants accordingly. If approved for extended benefits, a claimant’s weekly benefit amount under the extended benefits program will remain unchanged.
Colorado law provides for the 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits when the state’s total unemployment rate reaches certain sustained thresholds. The SEB program is 100% federally funded. More information: coloradoui.gov.
In other employment news, there are a number of upcoming Workforce programs that are free and available online. Here are the info and links to register.
Innovate the Future with Tech Business Opportunities
Technology innovation—it’s how we tip disruption in your favor and energize rural communities. The Central Mountain SBDC is hosting a regional webinar focusing on the Colorado SBDC TechSource: Commercialization program offering many small business support opportunities. This program is designed to maximize the economic potential of Colorado science and technology companies especially those in the advanced industries through no-cost, customized, expert consulting and relevant in-person and online workshops and events. We will also share access to capital, government funding options and accelerator research labs. The idea with this regional webinar is to shape the future with breakthrough technologies and offer a like-minded meetup group to inspire new innovations in Chaffee, Lake and Park counties. Please join them Sept. 17!
What The Webinar Will Cover?
- SBIR/STTR and Advanced Industry grant opportunities for early-stage seed funding
- Technology commercialization and go-to-market strategies
- IP protection/assistance with the patent process
- R&D tax credits • Market research,
- Market sizing, strategic and tactical planning
- Business growth issues
- Access to capital
Pandemic Pandemonium: 2020 Employment Law Update
The COVID-19 pandemic unleashed the most rapid release of regulatory changes employers have faced in a single year. Executive and public health orders and changes in state and federal employment law often create more questions than answers. Join the Northwest Workforce team and employment law specialists Michael Santo (Bechtel, Santo & Severn) and Tina Harkness (Mountain States Employers Council) to learn about ever-unfolding legislative and policy changes businesses need to know.
- COVID-related legislation
- Equal Pay Act
- Paid time off
- State and federal employment law updates
- Legal actions
Two chances to attend this free, interactive webinar on Pandemic Pandemonium
- Wednesday, Aug. 26 from 9 – 10:30 a.m.
- Tuesday, Sept. 1 from 11:30 – 1 p.m. Space is limited.
Featured speakers include Michael Santo, Partner @ Betchel, Santo, & Severn.
Michael Santo began practicing law in his home state of Michigan in 1992 after receiving his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and his law degree from the University of Detroit. After graduating from law school, he fulfilled a life long dream of moving to Colorado when he accepted a position with Dufford, Waldeck, Milburn & Krohn and later cofounded with Betty Bechtel the firm of Bechtel & Santo, which became Bechtel Santo & Severn in 2018. Since 1994, Michael has focused his practice on defending companies in employment litigation, including race, sex, age, national origin, religious, and disability discrimination lawsuits; wrongful discharge; and wage and hour matters. In addition, he regularly represents employers in prosecuting and defending claims of trade secret misappropriation, unfair competition, and employee raiding.
Tina Harkness, Esq., SPHR, Director, Northern Regional Office @ Employers Council.
Tina joined the Employers Council as a staff attorney in the Employment Law Services Department in 1998. She became the Information Resource Manager, in charge of EC’s legal publications, in 2005. Along with her work in publications, she is a frequent speaker and facilitates training of human resource professionals, managers, supervisors, and employees in legal issues in managing employees, harassment prevention, civil rights, managing employee medical issues, diversity, and other subjects. She specializes in legal counseling and represents management in a wide variety of legal matters. She is also the chair of EC’s High Country and Western Slope Committee. Tina’s favorite part of working at EC is assisting members by answering their questions and brainstorming solutions to their workplace problems.
Census Takers to Visit Some Households
Last week, census takers in Colorado initiated the Nationwide Nonresponse Followup Operation (NRFU), following up with households that have not yet responded to the 2020 Census. The current self-response rate in Colorado is 66.6%. The national self-response rate is 63.3%. The Census Bureau will need to visit the remaining addresses to collect responses in person. Households can still respond now by completing and mailing back the paper questionnaire they received. Those that respond now will not need to be visited to obtain their responses.
What Households Can Expect
Census takers are hired from local communities. All census takers speak English, and many are bilingual. If a census taker does not speak the householder’s language, the household may request a return visit from a census taker who does. Census takers will also have materials on hand to help identify the household’s language.
If no one is home when the census taker visits, the census taker will leave a notice of their visit with information about how to respond online, by phone, or by mail. Coloradans are encouraged to cooperate with census takers and ensure that everyone who was living in their household as of April 1, 2020, is counted.
How to Identify Census Takers
Census takers can be easily identified by a valid government ID badge with their photograph, a U.S. Department of Commerce watermark, and expiration date on the badge. To confirm a census taker’s identity, the public may contact the Denver/Dallas Regional Census Center at 972-510-1800 to speak with a Census Bureau representative.
Ways to Respond Now
- Online at 2020census.gov
- By phone at 844-330-2020 in English and 12 Non-English languages
- By mail using the paper questionnaire mailed to non-responding addresses
Health and Safety
The Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are working together to protect the health and safety of the public and our employees. Census takers are trained to follow these CDC recommendations:
- Wearing face masks
- Maintaining social distance of 6 feet or more
- Practicing hand hygiene
- Not entering homes, and conducting interviews outside
For more information, call 844-330-2020 or visit 2020census.gov.