(1957) Colorado Fair Employment Practices Act

Colorado counties
Colorado counties
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CHAPTER 176

An Act

CONCERNING DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT AND TO REPEAL ARTICLE 19, CHAPTER 81, COLORADO REVISED STATUTES 1953, AS AMENDED.

Be It Enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:

Section 1.-Short Title-This Act may be known and may be cited as the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act of 1957.

Section 2.-Definitions-As used in this Act:

(1) “Court” shall mean the district court in and for the judicial district of the state of Colorado in which the asserted unfair employment practice occurred, or if said court be not in session at that time, then any judge of said court.

(2) “Person” shall mean one or more individuals, partnerships, associations, corporations, legal representatives, trustees, receivers, the state of Colorado and all political subdivisions and agencies thereof.

(3) “Employment agency” shall mean any person undertaking to procure employees or opportunities to work for any other person, or the holding itself out to be equipped to do so.

(4) “Labor organization” shall mean any organization which exists for the purpose in whole or in part of collective bargaining or of dealing with employers concerning grievances, terms or conditions of employment or of other mutual aid or protection in connection with employment.

(5) “Employer” shall mean the state of Colorado or any political subdivision or board, commission, department, institution or school district thereof, and every other person employing six or more employees within the state; but it does not mean religious organizations or associations, except such organizations or associations supported in whole or in part by money raised by taxation or public borrowing.

(6) “Employee” shall mean any person employed by an employer, save and except a person in the domestic service of any person.

(7) “Unfair employment practice” shall mean those practices specified as discriminatory or unfair in section thereof.

(8) “Commission” shall mean the Colorado antidiscrimination commission, created by this article, and the term “commissioner” shall mean a member of that commission.

(9) “Coordinator” shall mean the coordinator of fair employment practices, which office is created by this act.

Section 3. –Anti-discrimination division -There is hereby created a division of State Government to be known and designated as the Colorado anti-discrimination division, which said division shall be under the jurisdiction and direction of the Colorado anti-discrimination commission. The division shall have as its immediate supervisory head a coordinator of fair employment practices. Such coordinator shall be appointed by the governor pursuant to article XII, Section 13 of the constitution. Any coordinator so appointed shall at all times be under the direct supervision and control of the Colorado anti-discrimination commission.

Section 4. –Anti-discrimination commission -The Colorado anti-discrimination commission shall consist of seven members, who shall be appointed by the governor, with the advice and approval of the senate, for terms of four years, except that of the first members appointed, two shall be appointed for terms of two years and two shall be appointed for terms of three years. Appointments shall be made to provide geographical area representation insofar as may be practicable, and no more than four members shall belong to the same political party. Vacancies shall be filled by the governor by appointment with the advice and approval of the senate, and the term of a commissioner so appointed shall be for the unexpired part of the term for which he is appointed. Any commissioner may be removed from office by the governor for cause. Commissioners shall serve without compensation, but shall be reimbursed for necessary travel expenses incurred by them while on official commission business. The commission may adopt, amend or rescind rules for governing its meetings, and four commissioners shall constitute a quorum. The Colorado anti-discrimination commission shall have the following powers and duties:

(1) To appoint such investigators and other employees and agents, pursuant to article XII, section 13 of the constitution, as it may deem necessary for the enforcement of this article, and to prescribe their duties.

(2) To adopt, publish, amend and rescind regulations consistent with and for the enforcement of this act.

(3) To receive, investigate and pass upon complaints alleging discrimination in employment or the existence of a discriminatory or unfair employment practice by a person, an employer, an employment agency, a labor organization, or the employees or members thereof.

(4) To investigate and study the existence, character, causes and extent of discrimination in employment in this state by employers, employment agencies and labor organizations, and to formulate plans for the elimination thereof by educational or other means.

(5) To hold hearings upon any complaint made against a person, an employer, an employment agency, a labor organization, or the employees or members thereof, to subpoena witnesses and compel their attendance, to administer oaths and take the testimony of any person under oath, and to compel such employer, employment agency, labor organization, official or other person to produce for examination any books and papers relating to any matter involved in such complaint. Such hearings may be held by the commission itself, or by any commissioner, or by the co-ordinator, or by any hearing examiner appointed by the commission. If a witness either fails or refuses to obey a subpoena issued by the commission, the commission may petition the District Court having jurisdiction for issuance of a subpoena in the premises and the Court shall in a proper case issue its subpoena; refusal to obey such subpoena shall be punishable by contempt. No person shall be excused from attending and testifying or from producing records, correspondence, documents or other evidence in obedience to a subpoena in any such matter, on the ground that the evidence or the testimony required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to any penalty or forfeiture; but no person shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter or thing concerning which he shall be compelled to testify or produce evidence after having claimed his privilege against self-incrimination, except that such person so testifying shall not be exempted from prosecution and punishment for perjury committed in so testifying.

(6) To issue such publications and reports of investigations and research as in its judgment will tend to promote good will among the various racial, religious and ethnic groups of the state, and which will tend to minimize or eliminate discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin or ancestry.

(7) To prepare and transmit to the governor and to the general assembly from time to time, but not less often than once each year, reports describing its proceedings, investigations, hearings it has conducted and the outcome thereof, decisions it has rendered, and the other work performed by it.

(8) To recommend policies to the governor and to submit recommendations to employers, employment agencies and labor organizations to effectuate such policies.

(9) To make recommendations to the general assembly for such further legislation concerning discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin or ancestry as it may deem necessary and desirable.

(10) To cooperate, within the limits of any appropriations made for its operation, with other agencies or organizations, both public and private, whose purposes are consistent with those of this act, in the planning and conducting of educational programs designed to eliminate racial, religious, cultural and intergroup tensions.

(11) To adopt an official seal.

Section 5. –Discriminatory and unfair employment practices-It shall be a discriminatory or unfair employment practice:

(1) For an employer to refuse to hire, to discharge, to promote or demote, or to discriminate in matters of compensation against, any person otherwise qualified, because of race, creed, color, national origin or ancestry.

(2) For an employment agency to refuse to list and properly classify for employment or to refer an individual for employment in a known available job for which such individual is otherwise qualified, because of race, creed, color, national origin or ancestry; or to comply with a request from an employer for referral of applicants for employment if the request indicates either directly or indirectly that the employer discriminates in employment on account of race, creed, color, national origin or ancestry.

(3) For a labor organization to exclude any individual otherwise qualified from full membership rights in such labor organization, or to expel any such individual from membership in such labor organization, or to otherwise discriminate against any of its members in the full enjoyment of work opportunity, because of race, creed, color, national origin or ancestry.

(4) For any employer, employment agency or labor organization to print or circulate or cause to be printed or circulated any statement, advertisement or publication, or to use any form of application for employment or membership, or to make any inquiry in connection with prospective employment or membership which expresses, either directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification or discrimination as to race, creed, color, national origin or ancestry, or intent to make any such limitation, specification or discrimination; unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification, or is required by and given to an agency of government for security reasons.

(5) For any person, whether or not an employer, an employment agency, a labor organization, or the employees or members thereof to aid, abet, incite, compel or coerce the doing of any act defined in this section to be a discriminatory or unfair employment practice, or to obstruct or prevent any person from complying with the provisions of this act or any order issued thereunder; or to attempt, either directly or indirectly, to commit any act defined in this section to be a discriminatory or unfair employment practice.

Section 6.-Complaint-hearing-procedure

(1) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by a, discriminatory or unfair employment practice may, by himself or his attorney-at-law, make, sign and file with the commission a verified, written complaint in duplicate which shall state the name and address of the person, employer, employment agency or labor organization alleged to have committed the discriminatory or unfair employment practice complained of, and which shall set forth the particulars thereof and contain such other information as may be required by the commission. The commission, a commissioner or the Attorney General may in like manner make, sign and file such complaint.

(2) Any employer or labor organization whose employees or members, or some of them, refuse or threaten to refuse to comply with the provisions of this act may file with the commission a verified written complaint in duplicate asking the commission for assistance to obtain their compliance by conciliation or other remedial action.

(3) After the filing of a complaint, the coordinator or a commissioner shall make, with the assistance of the staff, a prompt investigation thereof, and if such investigating official shall determine that probable cause exists for crediting the allegations of the complaint, he shall immediately endeavor to eliminate such discriminatory or unfair employment practice by conference, conciliation and persuasion.

(4) The members of the commission and its staff shall not disclose the filing of a complaint, the information gathered during the investigation or the endeavors to eliminate such discriminatory or unfair employment practice by conference, conciliation and persuasion, unless such disclosure is made in connection with the conduct of such investigation.

(5) In case of failure to satisfactorily settle a complaint by conference, conciliation and persuasion, or in advance thereof if in the opinion of the investigating official circumstances so warrant, he may issue and cause to be served, a written notice, together with a copy of such complaint, as the same may have been amended, requiring the person, employer, employment agency or labor organization named in such complaint, hereinafter referred to as respondent, to answer the charges of such complaint in writing within 10 days after the date of such notice or within such extended time as the investigating official may allow.

(6) When the investigating official is satisfied that further endeavors to settle a complaint by conference, conciliation and persuasion will be futile, he shall report the same to the commission. If the commission determines that the circumstances warrant, it shall issue and cause to be served a written notice requiring the respondent to answer the charges of such complaint at a hearing before the commission, a commissioner or commissioners, or other person designated by the commission to conduct the hearing, hereinafter referred to as hearing examiner, and at a time and place to be specified in such notice.

(7) The case in support of such complaint shall be presented at the hearing by one of the commission’s attorneys or agents. The investigating official shall not participate in the hearing except as a witness nor shall he participate in the deliberations of the commission in such case.

(8) The respondent may file a written verified answer to the complaint and appear at the hearing in person, or otherwise, with or without counsel and submit testimony. In the discretion of the hearing examiner, a complainant may be allowed to intervene and present testimony in person or by counsel.

(9) When a respondent has failed to answer a complaint at a hearing as herein provided, the commission may enter his default. For good cause shown, the commission may set aside an entry of default within 10 days after the date of such entry. In the event the respondent is in default, the commission may proceed to hear testimony adduced upon behalf of the complainant. After hearing such testimony, the commission may enter such order as in its opinion the evidence warrants.

(10) The commission or the complainant shall have the power to reasonably and fairly amend any complaint, and the respondent shall have like power to amend his answer.

(11) The commission shall not be bound by the strict rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity, but the right of cross-examination shall be preserved. The testimony taken at a hearing shall be under oath and shall be transcribed.

(12) If, upon all the evidence at a hearing, the commission shall find that a respondent has engaged in or is engaging in, any discriminatory or unfair employment practice as defined in this act, the commission shall state its findings of fact and shall issue and cause to be served upon such respondent an order requiring such respondent to cease and desist from such discriminatory or unfair employment practice and to take such affirmative action, including (but not limited to) hiring, reinstatement or up-grading of employees, with or without back pay, the referring of applicants for employment by any respondent employment agency, the restoration to membership by any respondent labor organization, the posting of notices, and the making of reports as to the manner of compliance, as in the judgment of the commission will effectuate the purposes of this act.

(13) If, upon all of the evidence at a hearing, the commission shall find that a respondent has not engaged in any such discriminatory or unfair employment practice, the commission shall state its findings of fact and shall issue and cause to be served an order on the complainant dismissing the complaint.

(14) The commission shall establish rules to govern, expedite and effectuate the foregoing procedures and its own actions thereunder.

(15) Any complaint filed pursuant to this act must be so filed within six months ‘after the alleged discriminatory or unfair employment practice occurred.

Section 7.-Judicial review and enforcement-Any complainant, or respondent claiming to be aggrieved by a final order of the commission, including a refusal to issue an order, may obtain judicial review thereof, and the commission may obtain an order of court for its enforcement in a proceeding as provided in this section.

(1) Such proceeding shall be brought in the district court of the district in which is located the county wherein the alleged discriminatory or unfair employment practice which is the subject of the commission’s order was committed, or wherein any respondent required in the order to cease and desist from a discriminatory or unfair employment practice, or to take other affirmative action, resides or transacts business.

(2) Such proceeding shall be initiated by the filing of a petition in such court, and the service of a copy thereof upon the commission and upon all parties who appeared before the commission. Thereupon the commission shall file with the court a transcript of the record of the hearing before it. The court shall have jurisdiction of the proceeding and the questions determined therein, and shall have power to grant such temporary relief or restraining order as it deems just and proper, and to make and enter upon the pleadings, testimony and proceedings set forth in such transcript an order enforcing, modifying and enforcing as so modified, or setting aside the order of the commission, in whole or in part.

(3) An objection that has not been urged before the commission shall not be considered by-the court, unless the failure or neglect to urge such objection shall be excused because of extraordinary circumstances.

(4) Any party may move the court to remit the case to the commission in the interests of justice for the purpose of adducing additional specified and material evidence and seeking findings thereof, provided such party shows reasonable grounds for the failure to adduce such evidence before the commission.

(5) The findings of the commission as to the facts shall be conclusive if supported by substantial evidence.

(6) The jurisdiction of the court shall be exclusive and its judgment and order shall be final, subject to review by the supreme court as provided by law.

(7) The commission’s copy of the testimony shall be available to all parties for examination at all reasonable times, without cost, and for the purpose of judicial review of the commission’s order.

(8) The commission may appear in court by its own attorney.

(9) Unless otherwise directed by the commission or court, commencement of review proceedings under this section shall operate as a stay of any order.

(10) Petitions filed under this section shall be heard expeditiously and determined upon the transcript filed, without requirement for printing. Hearings in the court under this article shall take precedence over all other matters, except matters of the same character.

(11) If no proceeding to obtain judicial review is instituted by a complainant, or respondent within thirty days from the service of an order of the commission pursuant to section 6 hereof, the commission may obtain a decree of the court for the enforcement of such order upon showing that respondent is subject to the jurisdiction of the commission and resides or transacts business within the county in which the petition for enforcement is brought.

Section 8.-Repeal-Article 19, Chapter 81, Colorado Revised Statutes 1953, as amended, is hereby repealed.

Section 9.-Constitutionality Clause-If any provision of this act or the application thereof to any person or circumstances shall be held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this act, and to this end the provisions of this act are declared severable.

Section 10.-Safety Clause-The General Assembly hereby finds, determines and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety.