Conversations Blog

Jenny Albertson, NHA

Director of Quality & Regulatory Affairs

Harassment Definition Update in CO Employment Law

CO Updates Employment Law definition of Harassment in the Workplace August 8th, 2023


Add “marital status” to protected classes. Includes rumors/jokes about employee’s separation, divorce, being single, etc. Charge of unfair treatment in the workplace now includes “harassment or unfair practices,” meaning…

  • Engaging in any unwelcome physical/verbal conduct, or any written, pictorial, or visual communication related to an employees membership in a protected class if it is offensive to that person and to “objectively offensive” to a reasonable person who is also a member of that protected class.
  • No longer requires “severe” or “pervasive” as a threshold
  • Petty slights, minor annoyances, and lack of good manners do not constitute harassment unless the “totality of the circumstances” make them so

Update your Employee Handbook

  1. Add Marital status to EEOC language
  2. Change harassment definition
  3. Require employees to report harassment or offensive behavior (witnessed or received)
  4. Train all employees in prevention and identification/reporting of harassment and discrimination
  5. Train supervisors on prevention of harassment and discrimination, how to recognize “notification” of a charge, and what to do when they receive a notification
  6. Ensure documentation of any complaints is in an investigative file. Disciplinary action goes in the Employee file.  Retain documents for 5 years.