ALCC news center
Colorado law is clear: no reimbursement for medical use of marijuana Email
Written by ALCC   
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 07:00 AM

The Colorado Supreme Court opinion in June regarding Coats v. DISH Network LLC reinforced employers’ rights regarding zero-tolerance drug policies. That decision helped clarify rules regarding marijuana use by employees. 

However, a recent case in New Mexico found that an employer is required to reimburse an employee for medical marijuana deemed “reasonable and necessary” to treat a work-related injury. This leaves some employers wondering if such a case could be brought up in their own business.

Similar cases will likely not be an issue in our state. Colorado’s medical marijuana code clearly states that “no governmental, private, or any other health insurance provider shall be required to be liable for any claim for reimbursement for the medical use of marijuana.” It also states that “nothing in this section shall require any employer to accommodate the medical use of marijuana in any work place” [Col. Const., Art. XVIII § 14 (10)(a)]. 

This code, along with the Coats v. DISH opinion, make the current rules quite clear that medical marijuana, even if prescribed for an injury covered by worker’s compensation, does not fall under the claim.

Previously on the LAB:
Judges' opinion on Coats v. DISH means employers may keep zero-tolerance policies

Time for a mid-year tax check-up Email
Written by Barbara Weltman   
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 04:00 AM

Do a mid-year tax checkupLike most small business owners who don’t think of July as an important tax time, you may not be thinking about taxes right now, but you should be. Here are three things to do now to help achieve a good tax outcome for the year.

Colorado construction is booming Email
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 03:00 AM

Colorado construction is boomingStats and forecasters show a construction, jobs and population boom are underway in Colorado. 

Contracts awarded for future construction in June 2015 are 2 1/3 times more than those awarded in June 2014. This is according to Dodge Data Analytics, which monitors and reports changes in construction activity each month. In addition, year-to-date comparisons of January through June 2014 to January to June 2015 show total permits – both residential and non-residential – are up 37% in 2015. In dollars, YTD total contracts awarded through June 2014 were $2,593,732,000 and YTD through June 2015 were at $3,549,620,000.

3 online tools for managing your business’s social media Email
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 02:00 AM

social mediaWith changes in technology and the ways that the consumers interact with businesses and brands, it can be overwhelming to consider how many channels your business must manage in order to stay connected. If you’re a small company, the job of managing social media may also fall on the shoulders of the person who is busy providing services. Finding the time to promote your company and communicate with customers can be a challenge.

Help request an extension to comment period on DOL Proposed Overtime Rule Email
Thursday, August 06, 2015 06:15 AM

Contact DOL and legislatorsPlease help us by requesting an extension to the comment period on the Department of Labor's (DOL) proposed rule on exemptions to overtime pay requirements under the FLSA. We urge you to contact DOL and request a 60-day extension to the current comment period that ends on September 4. We need the additional time to provide accurate, comprehensive comments on the proposal's potential impact.

Subcommittee discusses Proposed Overtime Rule Email
Tuesday, August 04, 2015 06:15 AM

The Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, chaired by Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), recently held a hearing on the Department of Labor’s proposed changes to federal overtime rules. The hearing explored the impact the proposal would have on employee choice and opportunity, as well as the significant costs it would create for the nation's job creators. [video of the hearing after the jump]

Day on the Hill recap Email
Tuesday, July 28, 2015 09:20 AM


Colorado landscape professionals visited Capitol HillRepresentatives of ALCC joined other members of the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) visited Washington, DC last week for the landscape industry’s annual Renewal & Remembrance and Legislative Day on the Hill. Nearly 450 professionals participated in the Renewal & Remembrance day of service at Arlington National Cemetery, and nearly 100 of those participants were on hand the next day to meet with legislators.

Landscape professionals visit Capitol Hill today Email
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 10:58 AM

US CapitolToday, landscape professionals from across the nation have gathered in Washington, D.C. "to visit the offices of representatives and senators to discuss the issues that are vital to the future of the industry and to make sure our voice is heard on Capitol Hill." This initiative, known as Legislative Day on the Hill, is organized by National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).

A delegation from ALCC has joined the group to represent the Colorado landscape industry. Issues to be addressed include:

          • Comprehensive Immigration Reform
          • The H-2B Program
          • Seasonal Employee Healthcare
          • Waters of the United States
          • Pollinator Stewardship

You can follow the effort on Twitter by following NALP (@the_nalp) and the hashtags #landscapeadvocacy #nalpadvocates. You can also check for updates on NALP's page on Facebook.

ALCC will follow up after the event with an update about member participation in DC.

Previously on the LAB:
2015 Legislative Day on the Hill

Quick H-2B update Email
Monday, July 20, 2015 07:58 AM

H-2B visa program
This week, the House Appropriations Committee passed the FY 2016 funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The bill includes the language below that would create an H-2B returning worker exemption for fiscal year 2016, which begins on October 1.

SEC. 561. Section 214(g)(9)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(9)(A)) is amended by striking ‘‘2004, 2005, or 2006 shall not again be count- ed toward such limitation during fiscal year 2007.’’ and inserting ‘‘2013, 2014, or 2015 shall not again be counted toward such limitation during fiscal year 2016.’’

To supporters of this H-2B legislation: We will have a long way to go to preserve this language in a final appropriations measure later this year, but this is a very important first step. Please continue your H-2B outreach to lawmakers.

Smart irrigation earns industry recognition for Golden business Email
Monday, July 20, 2015 07:00 AM


Schutz Industries Inc irrigation managementWhen ALCC launched its awards program, organizers chose to shine a spotlight on projects that demonstrate sustainability, stewardship, and innovation. The first recipient of the ELITE Irrigation Management Award was Schultz Industries, Inc. for their work at the Concha Townhomes in Denver, which reduced water consumption by 45%.

According to the Golden-based landscape company, Concha Townhomes was classified as “extremely water inefficient” by Denver Water and sought recommendations/proposals to get its irrigation consumption reduced and in line with Denver Water guidelines. Water was the largest HOA expense.

5 creative employee orientation strategies Email
Monday, July 20, 2015 06:00 AM

work glovesThink about your employee orientation experiences. What comes to mind? A long morning of paperwork? Listening to a member of HR walk you page-by-page through the employee handbook? A day stuck in a conference room signing disclaimers and other employee procedure forms?

When done robotically like this, employee orientation can discourage new hires. When handled creatively, employee orientation can be a fun and engaging experience that, according to research published in January 2015 in the journal Human Resource Management, results in higher job satisfaction and, as a result, higher motivation and commitment to the organization.

Who’s an employee and who’s an independent contractor? Email
Written by Jackon Kelly PLLC   
Monday, July 20, 2015 05:00 AM

Employee vs. independent contractorSometimes it’s not so easy to tell.

Earlier this year, an unsuccessful bill came before the Colorado Legislature that would have simplified the test to determine whether a person was an independent contractor or employee. Senate bill S.B. 15-269 would have repealed current standards related to the determination of independent contractor status under the Employment Security Act (unemployment insurance, or UI) and established a multifactor test to determine whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor for the purposes of UI.

Why is there a purple box in that tree? Email
Monday, July 20, 2015 04:49 AM

Purple EAB trapResidents in the City of Boulder and Boulder County may notice more than 65 purple and green boxes in trees along high-traffic roads. The boxes are traps aimed at identifying emerald ash borer (EAB). The pest, which has killed tens of millions of ash trees across the US, has been found in Boulder, and experts want to find out as soon as possible if EAB has spread into other areas.

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