When you hire employees who work in Colorado, your employee handbook should comply with both federal and state employment laws. While employers aren’t required to create and distribute employee handbooks, they are required to implement and comply with a variety of policies in the workplace. Employee handbooks allow employers to easily document the required policies and show that they have complied with applicable law.

Employee handbooks are a smart way to introduce your employees to your organization, set expectations, explain important policies and procedures, and mitigate your legal risk. If your handbook fails to comply with state and federal laws, however, your company could be exposed to significant liability.

SixFifty has developed an employment documents platform to help employers draft customized, state-specific employee handbooks for every state. If proper drafting wasn’t already, it has become incredibly important in light of the NLRB’s recent decision in Stericycle, Inc. and Teamsters Local 628. In that decision, the NLRB made it clear that any work rule or policy instituted by employers must advance a legitimate business interest and not infringe on employee rights under Section 7 of the NLRA.

Read on to learn more about Colorado employee handbook requirements, and how we can save your organization time and money on quality employment documents.

Required Colorado employee handbook policies

Colorado has 13 state-specific, required employee handbook policies:

  • Bereavement Leave
  • Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards (COMPS Order) and acknowledgment
    • While not a policy, per se, this Order and acknowledgment must be included in your Colorado handbook
  • Civil Air Patrol and Volunteer Service in Disaster Leave
  • Domestic Violence Leave (for companies with 50 or more employees)
  • Jury Duty Leave 
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy
  • Meal and Rest Breaks
  • Military Service Leave 
  • Paid Sick Leave
  • Pay Transparency Policy
  • Voting Leave
  • Witness Duty Leave

Note that the domestic violence policy only applies to companies with 50 or more employees. If you are required to include state and federal FMLA policies, be sure that the language complies with both state and federal law.

Optional Colorado employee handbook policies

In addition to the required Colorado employment policies, employers are also free to include the following optional policies:

  • Affinity Group Policy
  • Arbitration Policy
  • At-Will Employment Policy
  • Background Check Policy
  • Business Expense Policy
  • Company Property Policy
  • Confidentiality and Trade Secrets Policy
  • Desk Hoteling Policy
  • Direct Deposit Policy
  • Dress Code Policy
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse Policy
  • Electronic Devices While Driving Policy
  • Employee Benefits Policy
  • Employee Classification Policy
  • Employee Dating Policy
  • Employee References Policy
  • Employment of Relatives Policy
  • Exit Interview Policy
  • Gifts Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Holidays
  • Immigration Law Compliance
  • Leave Policies, including: Paid Sick Leave; Parental Leave; Bereavement Leave; Organ, Bone Marrow, and Blood Donor Leave; Crime Victim Leave; School Activity Leave
  • Marijuana Policy
  • Off-Duty Use of Facilities
  • Outside Employment Policy
  • Overtime Policy
  • Payment of Wages Policy
  • Payroll Deductions Policy
  • Performance Review Policy
  • Personnel Files Policy
  • Pets in the Workplace Policy
  • Progressive Discipline Policy
  • Public Relations Policy
  • Punctuality and Attendance Policy
  • Salary Pay Policy
  • Social Media Policy
  • Solicitation and Distribution of Literature Policy
  • Technology Systems Policy 
  • Telecommuting Policy
  • Temporary Relocation Policy 
  • Timekeeping Policy
  • Vacation/Paid Time Off
  • Video Conferencing Policy
  • Workers’ Compensation Policy
  • Workplace Violence Policy
  • Workplace Visitor Policy
  • Workweek and Work Schedules Policy 

Depending on your organization and employment type, industry, and other considerations, you may not need or want to include all of the policies above.

Required federal employee handbook policies

Finally, if you choose to create an employee handbook, you must also include these mandatory federal employee handbook policies:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Policy
  • Equal Employment and Anti-Discrimination Policy
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Policy (for companies with more than 50 employees)
  • Jury Duty Leave
  • Military Service Leave
  • Sexual Harassment Policy
  • Lactation Accommodation Policy
  • Religious Accommodation Policy

Employers in all 50 states are required to implement these policies, in addition to any that are required by the state(s) in which they operate. Therefore, all of your employee handbooks should contain these federal policies (if your organization meets the 50-employee requirement for the FMLA Policy). 

How to create a Colorado employee handbook

Researching and creating a Colorado employee handbook is a time-consuming and expensive process, even if you only plan to include the required state and federal policies. If you accidentally violate these laws, you could expose your organization to legal liability.

Some companies hire attorneys to draft their handbooks, which is a safe option—but when you’re hiring in more than one state, you’re likely to rack up plenty of billable hours. On the other hand, trying cost-saving options like one-size-fits-all templates won’t guarantee that your handbooks include all the necessary policies and language to protect your organization. 

SixFifty’s employee handbook creator platform is designed to be a better option. Rather than drafting an employee handbook from scratch, using a template, or hiring an attorney, we’ve done the hard work for you. Our platform guides employers through each stage of the employment life cycle, starting with offer letters and employee handbooks, and ending in separation and offboarding. Best of all, our legal team keeps a close watch over changes to employment legislation across the country. If there are any changes, we’ll notify you so you can regenerate and redistribute your handbooks. It’s the easiest way to create a Colorado employee handbook that complies with all state and federal requirements.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo today!

Looking to create an employee handbook for a different state? View our interactive map for required employee handbook policies by state.