Several new laws have been recently passed in Colorado that may affect you. The first change is the creation of a first-time homebuyer savings account to promote home ownership among individuals who have not yet purchased a home before. The second change affects employment requirements for employers. Changes are coming soon regarding accommodations for pregnancy related conditions, an employee's right to inspect their personnel file, along with the elimination of the Colorado employment eligibility verification process.
Colorado First-time Homebuyer Savings Account
Beginning January 1, 2017, any Coloradoan can set up a First-time Homebuyer Savings Account (FHSA). The earnings on those funds (interest and capital gains) are free from Colorado state income taxes. The funds are solely to be used toward the costs of purchasing a home.
FHSA accounts can grow to a maximum of $150,000 and can remain in the account forever. Maximum contribution allowed for all years is $50,000, with the maximum contribution by an individual in a taxable year is $14,000 and $28,000 for joint returns.
Colorado Employment Changes
Three recently passed Colorado laws have changed employment requirements for employers. Changes are coming soon regarding accommodations for pregnancy related conditions, an employee's right to inspect their personnel file, along with the elimination of the Colorado employment eligibility verification process.
Starting on August 10, 2016, Colorado employers will be required to make reasonable accommodations for both applicants and employees who have any health condition related to pregnancy if requested by the applicant or employee. Examples of reasonable accommodations include longer breaks, job restructuring, limited manual labor, and modified work schedules. Employers are not required to make accommodations if it would place an undue hardship on the business to implement the accommodation. If you feel that a request is not reasonable, ensure that you heavily document the reasoning to protect your business in the event an employee tries to sue for failure to make a requested accommodation.
The second change to employer requirements is allowing each employee the right to inspect their personnel file once per year and one time after termination of employment. Currently there is no requirement in place for employers to provide employees access to their personnel file. This law goes into effect January 1, 2017.
The last change eliminates some of the regulatory burden placed on Colorado employers. Starting August 16, 2016, Colorado employers will no longer be required to complete the Colorado employment eligibility verification process when hiring a new employee. Colorado employers still are required to follow the federal employment eligibility verification during the hiring process.
Because of these changes to employment laws, we recommend a review of employer's policies and employee manuals to ensure you are staying in compliance with these changes. If you have any questions regarding this newsletter, please do not hesitate to give us a call.