Protected factors under the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act include transgender status, sexual orientation, and an employer’s impression of a person’s sexual orientation. The only organizations which are exempt from the Anti-Discrimination Act are those that are not supported by public funds, and religious institutions.
Included within Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act is a marital provision that prohibits any employer with more than 25 employees from refusing to hire or to discharge anyone who either plans to marry either another employee or is already married to another employee. The only time that the marital provision would not apply to Colorado sexual harassment law is if:
- The employer has dismissal, appointment, disciplinary action or supervisory action powers over the spouse
- If the spouse is in charge of auditing, verifying, receiving or investing money which is handled by their spouse
- If the individual has confidential information related to the employer’s personnel records or payroll information
There are two ways that an employee can be sexually harassed in the workplace in Colorado: either through “quid pro quo” or through creating a hostile working environment.
If you are being sexually harassed due to quid pro quo, it means that someone is offering you something for something (“quid pro quo” literally means “this for that”). Quid pro quo sexual harassment involves someone offering you advancement or favors for acquiescing to their sexual advances. It can also mean that someone is making you feel coerced to give in to their sexual request by threatening your workplace advancement or by you losing a well-deserved promotion. Both of these are forms of sexual harassment and are illegal.
If you are the victim of sexual harassment that is creating a hostile workplace, this typically means that someone is either sexually propositioning you, gesturing in a sexually inappropriate manner, or even touching you without consent. A hostile work environment can also be created if someone is making sexual innuendos, telling gender-bias jokes, or making derogatory comments about your gender.
If you are a victim of sexual harassment, it is possible for you to receive compensation for any emotional distress you suffered, lost wages, and to have your Colorado sexual harassment attorney fees paid. If the situation is egregious enough, you also might be entitled to punitive damages.