Discrimination

Types of Discrimination Complaints That We Handle

Employers in Colorado are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on their protected class. CCRD Investigates allegations of employment discrimination.

Prohibited Employment Practices - C.R.S. § 24-34-402

It is a discriminatory or unfair employment practice for an employer to:

  • refuse to hire
  • to discharge
  • to refuse to promote
  • to demote
  • to harass during the course of employment
  • to discriminate in matters of compensation
  • to discriminate in the terms, conditions, or privileges of employment

based on or because of a person's protected class or in retaliation for engaging in a protected activity - i.e., retaliate against a person for opposing discrimination. 

Additionally, employers have a duty to provide reasonable accommodations that may be necessary because of an employee's or applicant's disability and/or because of an employee's or applicant's of pregnancy, childbirth, or a condition related to pregnancy or childbirth. 

Protected Classes in Employment

  • Disability (a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits a major life activity)
  • Race (includes hair texture, hair type, or a protective hairstyle commonly or historically associated with race, such as braids, locs, twists, tight coils or curls, cornrows, Bantu knots, Afros, and headwraps).
  • Creed
  • Color
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation (which is statutorily defined as "including transgender status" - i.e. Gender Identity)
  • Religion
  • Age (40+)
  • National Origin
  • Ancestry
  • Marriage to a Co-Worker (applies in limited circumstances)
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions

Employees who have engaged in protected activity (such as making a complaint of discrimination, or requesting a reasonable accommodation) are protected from retaliation for doing so. 

Filling Deadline

Complaints of employment discrimination must be filed within six months after the alleged discriminatory or unfair employment practice occurred, and if not so filed, it shall be barred. C.R.S. § 24-34-403

Coverage 

Any employee working in the State of Colorado is covered by the protections of the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA). Independent Contractors and individuals in the domestic service of any person (e.g., a personal nanny or housekeeper) are not employees as defined by CADA. Additionally, employees of religious organizations or associations, except such organizations or associations supported in whole or in part by money raised by taxation or public borrowing, are not covered by CADA. 

 

Fair housing laws were enacted to ensure everyone has equal access to the housing of their choice. Fair housing laws apply to housing providers (landlords), but also real estate brokers, mortgage lenders, homeowner associations, and others.

Prohibited Housing Practices - C.R.S. § 24-34-502

  • It is an unfair housing practice and unlawful to:
  • Refuse to rent or sell -i.e. “make housing unavailable”
  • Apply unequal terms or conditions of sale or rental
  • Refuse to allow reasonable accommodation and or modification necessary to accommodate a disability
  • Redline
  • Steer
  • Intimidate, Threaten, Coerce - i.e. Harass
  • Advertise with a discriminatory preference or limitation
  • Misrepresent availability
  • Retaliate against a person engaging in a protected activity, e.g. complaining of discrimination or requesting a reasonable accommodation.

Protected Classes in Housing

  • Disability (a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits a major life activity)
  • Race (includes hair texture, hair type, or a protective hairstyle commonly or historically associated with race, such as braids, locs, twists, tight coils or curls, cornrows, Bantu knots, Afros, and headwraps).
  • Creed
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation (which is statutorily defined as "including transgender status" - i.e. Gender Identity)
  • Martial Status
  • Familial Status 
  • National Origin
  • Ancestry

Persons who have engaged in protected activity (such as making a complaint of discrimination, or requesting a reasonable accommodation) are protected from retaliation for doing so. 

Filling Deadline

Complaints of housing discrimination must be filed within one year after the alleged unfair housing practice occurred, and if not so filed, it shall be barred. C.R.S. § 24-34-504

Exempt Housing

Any room or unit offered for rent or lease in a single-family dwelling maintained and occupied in part by the owner or lessee of said dwelling as his household is not included in the statutory definition of housing and is therefore not subject to the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act.

Additionally, in limited circumstances, the prohibition against discrimination based on familial status does not apply, e.g. housing for older people, and the sale of a single-family home without the assistance of advertising, a broker, or other housing professionals. 

Coloradans are entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of all goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations offered to the public, regardless of protected class.

Prohibited Practices in Places of Public Accommodation C.R.S. § 24-34-601

Places of public accommodation are generally defined as any place of business offering goods, services, facilities, or accommodations to the public. Places of public accommodation include educational institutions and public buildings.

It would be a discriminatory action for a place of public accommodation, directly or indirectly, to refuse, withhold from, or deny to an individual or a group the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, of the public accommodation based on that person or groups' protected class. Places of public accommodation are also prohibited from publishing, circulating, issuing, displaying, posting, or mailing any discriminatory advertisement. 

To ensure that persons with disability are allowed the opportunity for the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, or accommodations being offered, a place of public accommodation may need to make reasonable accommodations in its policies, procedures, or practices and/or ensure accessibility. 

Places of public accommodation are also prohibited from retaliating against any person who has engaged in a protected activity - e.g., making a complaint of discrimination or requesting a reasonable accommodation. 

Protected Classes in Places of Public Accommodation

  • Disability (a mental or physical impairment which substantially limits a major life activity)
  • Race (includes hair texture, hair type, or a protective hairstyle commonly or historically associated with race, such as braids, locs, twists, tight coils or curls, cornrows, Bantu knots, Afros, and headwraps).
  • Creed
  • Color
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation (which is statutorily defined as "including transgender status" - i.e. Gender Identity)
  • Marital Status
  • National Origin
  • Ancestry

Persons who have engaged in protected activity (such as making a complaint of discrimination, or requesting a reasonable accommodation) are protected from retaliation for doing so. 

Filling Deadline

Complaints of public accommodation discrimination must be filed within SIXTY (60) DAYS after the alleged discriminatory act occurred, and if not so filed, it shall be barred. C.R.S. § 24-34-604

Exemptions

Places of public accommodation DO NOT include a church, synagogue, mosque or other place that is principally used for religious purposes. 

The Civil Rights Division investigates complaints of discrimination in employment, housing, and places of public accommodation. In order for the CCRD to have the ability to investigate a complaint, the alleged discrimination must be based on the Complainant's protected class(es).

Disparate Treatment

  • Disparate Treatment Discrimination occurs when an employer, housing provider, or place of public accommodation treats people differently based on or because of a person's protected class.  

Disparate Impact

  • Discrimination occurs when an employer, housing provider, or place of public accommodation, enforces or applies a rule, policy, or procedure that disproportionately adversely impacts a particular protected class or protected classes. 

Types of Discrimination Complaints With Which We Cannot Assist

Despite our name, we cannot handle all issues that are often associated with the term "civil rights." For instance, the Colorado Civil Rights Division does not have jurisdiction over claims involving:

  • Federal employees filing against a federal employer
  • Police and sheriff and other law enforcement officer misconduct
  • Judicial determinations or court matters
  • Prisoners' rights
  • Discrimination based characteristics such as personal appearance, political affiliation, lack of education and training, short-term disabilities, and personality conflicts
  • Labor relations issues, including wage and hour matters not based on a protected class, and workers' compensation
  • Voting access