Digest of Bills - 2007

LABOR AND INDUSTRY

S.B. 07-31 Petroleum products - standards - fees - petroleum storage tank fund - appropriation - rules. Allows blended gasoline to exceed the vapor pressure standard only if the ethanol is blended between 9% and 10%.

Allows the director of the division of oil and public safety in the department of labor and employment ("division") to assess a range of penalties for delinquent registration and renewal fees and reasonable collection costs, in an amount that does not exceed twice the amount of such fees and costs.

Continuously appropriates moneys in the petroleum storage tank fund ("fund") to the division for purposes of corrective action, hazard abatement, release investigations, and state matching funds. Clarifies the limitation on the use of the fund for initial abatement and corrective action regarding fuels that are especially prepared and sold for use in aircraft or railroad equipment or locomotives. Extends the repeal date regarding the use of the fund for costs related to petroleum storage tank facility inspections and meter calibrations until 2014. Specifies that 20% of the fund may be used for remediation reimbursements for entities that are not responsible parties.

Allows the director of the division to promulgate and enforce rules as allowed by federal law.

APPROVED by Governor April 3, 2007
EFFECTIVE April 3, 2007

S.B. 07-39 Industrial safety - excavations - abandoned gas transmission pipelines. Requires an excavator of an underground gas transmission pipeline that has been abandoned or is unused and is not located in a public road, street, alley, or right-of-way dedicated to public use to notify each owner of record and occupant of the real property where such pipeline is located at least 10 days before beginning the excavation.

APPROVED by Governor March 22, 2007
EFFECTIVE August 3, 2007
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause. For further explanation concerning the effective date, see page vi of this digest.

S.B. 07-123 Conveyances - regulation - building - mechanics - inspectors - appropriation. Creates the "Elevator and Escalator Certification Act" (act). Declares the regulation of conveyances to be a matter of statewide concern. Regulates the professions of conveyance mechanic and inspector. Regulates the installation and repair of conveyances. Exempts conveyances in single-family residences.

Requires conveyance mechanics and inspectors to be licensed and conveyance contractors to be certified. Sets qualifications for licensure and certification. Imposes fees for licensure and certification. Allows persons who are qualified, though not licensed, to work on conveyances in an emergency. Requires certified conveyance inspectors and mechanics to have 8 hours of continuing education every 2 years.

Authorizes the director of the division of oil and public safety in the department of labor and employment (administrator) to discipline a licensee or certificant if the person fraudulently obtains certification, fails to notify the administrator of a noncomplying conveyance, or violates the act.

Requires the owner of a conveyance to report to the administrator or approved local jurisdiction, within 24 hours, any accident resulting in serious injury.

Requires conveyances to be registered by August 1, 2008. Authorizes the administrator to set registration fees to offset the cost of registration. Credits registration fees to the conveyance safety fund, which is created. Exempts conveyances that are regulated by local governments.

Requires licensees to comply with the safety code adopted by the administrator. Instructs the administrator to promulgate rules for the construction, alteration, repair, service, and maintenance of conveyances.

Requires the owner of a conveyance to obtain a certificate of operation. Sets standards, including an inspection by a certified conveyance inspector, for the issuance of a certificate of operation. Imposes a fee, in an amount to be set by the administrator, for the issuance of a certificate of operation by the administrator. Requires conveyances to be periodically inspected. Exempts conveyances that are regulated by local governments.

Requires conveyance contractors and conveyance inspectors to carry general liability insurance coverage of at least $1 million for injury or death of each person in each occurrence and at least $500,000 for property damage in each occurrence. Prohibits the administrator from certifying a conveyance contractor or conveyance inspector without receipt of the policy, certified copy, or certificate of insurance.

Makes failure to obtain a license or certification required by the act or failure to register an existing conveyance a class 3 misdemeanor. If a conveyance is dangerous, authorizes the conveyance inspector to notify the owner and approved jurisdiction or administrator, and authorizes the administrator or approved jurisdiction to order such alterations or additions as may be deemed necessary. Allows an owner or lessee to temporarily shut down a conveyance in lieu of making such ordered changes.

Repeals the act on July 1, 2017, pursuant to the sunset law.

Appropriates $186,597 1.3 FTE and to the department of labor and employment for allocation to the division of oil and public safety for the enforcement of this act.

APPROVED by Governor May 30, 2007
EFFECTIVE January 1, 2008

S.B. 07-201 Workers' compensation - benefits - legal fees - continuous appropriation of moneys in subsequent injury, major medical insurance, and medical disaster insurance funds. Authorizes continuous appropriation of moneys in the subsequent injury fund, the major medical insurance fund, and the medical disaster insurance fund to the division of workers' compensation in the department of labor and employment for the purpose of paying benefits to claimants and legal fees.

APPROVED by Governor April 20, 2007
EFFECTIVE April 20, 2007

S.B. 07-247 Underground storage tanks - upgrade existing tanks - rules. Allows moneys in the petroleum storage tank fund to be used as incentives to underground storage tank owners and operators to upgrade existing systems. Requires the division of oil and public safety to promulgate rules to implement the incentives.

APPROVED by Governor May 18, 2007
EFFECTIVE July 1, 2007

S.B. 07-258 Workers' compensation - insurance - fee schedule awards - hearings - awards and compensation - appropriation. Clarifies that the workers' compensation fee schedule applies to all services provided by a medical professional. Requires that a list of accredited and nonaccredited physicians be provided to all parties to a workers' compensation claim. Requires scheduled awards to be calculated the same as lump sum awards.

Deletes the requirement that the parties wait 14 days after the notice of the request to select an independent medical examiner (IME) is mailed to select an IME. Eliminates the requirement that the director of the office of administrative courts establish a time schedule for hearings. Requires a hearing to commence within 100 days after the hearing is set.

Eliminates the requirement that a hearing be completed in 120 days. Requires an administrative law judge or director to issue a written order within 15 days after the conclusion of a hearing.

Deletes the requirement that the division of workers' compensation order and calculate a lump sum award. Increases the allowable aggregate lump sum award.

Appropriates $3,502 to the department of labor and employment for allocation to the workers' compensation division for administrative law judge services for the implementation of the act. Further appropriates $3,502 to the department of personnel, division of administrative courts, for operating expenses related to the implementation of the act.

APPROVED by Governor May 30, 2007
EFFECTIVE May 30, 2007

H.B. 07-1001 Wages - minimum wage rate - increase - conformity with state constitutional requirements. Makes conforming amendments to state statutes in response to "Amendment 42", the initiated constitutional amendment enacted by the people of Colorado at the 2006 general election, which raised the state minimum wage to $6.85 per hour as of January 1, 2007, with subsequent annual adjustments for inflation.

APPROVED by Governor March 14, 2007
EFFECTIVE March 14, 2007

H.B. 07-1008 Workers' compensation - firefighters - coverage - cancer. Requires that, under the "Workers' Compensation Act of Colorado", if a firefighter contracts cancer of the brain, skin, digestive system, hematological system, or genitourinary system, the condition or impairment shall be presumed to result from employment unless a physical examination of such firefighter failed to reveal substantial evidence of such condition or impairment that preexisted employment and the employer or insurer shows by a preponderance of the medical evidence that such condition or impairment did not occur on the job. Requires the division of workers' compensation to prepare and deliver a report, on or before March 1, 2009, to the business affairs and labor committee of the house of representatives and the business, labor, and technology committee of the senate, or any successor committees, regarding the number of claims allowed for firefighters with cancer and the costs associated with those claims.

APPROVED by Governor May 17, 2007
EFFECTIVE May 17, 2007

H.B. 07-1072 Labor unions - eliminate all-union agreement - voting requirement. Eliminates the requirement that, in order to validly enter into an all-union agreement, the all-union agreement must be approved by the affirmative vote of at least a majority of all the employees eligible to vote or three-quarters or more of the employees who actually voted, whichever is greater.

VETOED by Governor February 9, 2007

H.B. 07-1073 Public contract for services - use of federal basic pilot program. In connection with a public contract for services, modifies the language of a pre-contract certification and a required provision of the contract to reflect that the federal basic pilot program is used to confirm the employment eligibility of all employees who are newly hired for employment in the United States.

APPROVED by Governor March 16, 2007
EFFECTIVE August 3, 2007
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause. For further explanation concerning the effective date, see page vi of this digest.

H.B. 07-1133 Health care workers - reporting - disciplinary action. Prohibits a health care provider from taking disciplinary action against a health care worker if the worker submits, in good faith, a report or complaint regarding patient safety or quality of patient care.

APPROVED by Governor March 29, 2007
EFFECTIVE March 29, 2007

H.B. 07-1176 Workers' compensation - notice to change authorized treating physician - list of authorized treating physicians - alternative authorized treating physician - rules. Allows an injured employee covered under the "Workers' Compensation Act of Colorado" to choose a treating physician from a list, prepared by the injured employee's employer, of at least 2 physicians or 2 corporate medical providers, if possible, or at least one physician and one corporate medical provider. Requires both of the designated providers to be in a distinct location and without common ownership if possible. If there are fewer than 4 physicians or providers within 30 miles of the employer's place of business who are willing to treat an injured employee, states that the employer may designate one physician or one corporate medical provider and that the employee will not be able to change his or her designated authorized treating physician. Requires each designated physician or provider on the employer's list to provide a list of all ownership interests and employment relationships, if requested by an interested party, within 5 days after receipt of the request.

Allows a health care provider or governmental entity that has its own occupational health care provider system to designate health care providers from within its own system. Allows an employer that currently has its own on-site health care facility to designate the on-site health care facility as the authorized treating physician, but allows an employee to change his or her designated authorized treating physician by submitting notice.

Allows an injured employee to submit notice to change to another treating physician from the list prepared by the employer. Specifies the conditions pursuant to which the carrier or employer is required to grant the notice for a change of physician.

Requires the newly authorized treating physician to make reasonable effort to avoid any unnecessary duplication of medical services. Requires the originally authorized treating physician to send all of the injured employee's medical records to the newly authorized treating physician within 7 calendar days after receipt of a notice to change physicians. Requires the opinion of the originally authorized treating physician regarding work restrictions and return to work to control unless and until such opinion is expressly modified by the newly authorized treating physician. Allows the newly authorized treating physician to expressly refuse, in writing within 5 days after the date of the notice to change authorized treating physicians, to treat the injured employee.

Allows the employee to request an alternative authorized treating physician from the employer. Requires the employer to provide an alternative authorized treating physician within 5 days after the employer's request. Allows the division of workers' compensation to promulgate rules concerning the failure of an employer to provide an alternative authorized treating physician to the employee.

Allows the injured employee to continue care with an authorized treating physician when the authorized treating physician moves from one facility or from one corporate medical provider to another.

Requires an insurance carrier, or an employer's authorized representative if self-insured, to track how often an injured employee requests to change his or her physician and how often such change is granted or denied and to report such information to the division upon request.

APPROVED by Governor May 14, 2007
EFFECTIVE January 1, 2008

H.B. 07-1228 Renewable energy - flexible fuel vehicles - hybrid vehicles - petroleum storage tanks - distributed generation. Requires the executive director of the department of personnel, beginning January 1, 2008, to purchase flexible fuel or hybrid vehicles unless the cost of such a vehicle is more than 10% over the cost of a comparable nonflexible fuel vehicle.

Requires the director of the division of oil and public safety to establish rules concerning the placement of storage tanks that contain renewable fuels, with the purpose of developing a uniform statewide standard of issuing permits for both underground and aboveground storage tanks to promote the use of renewable fuels and to make the process of obtaining a permit for a storage tank that contains renewable fuels more efficient and affordable.

Requires the public utilities commission to develop a policy to establish incentives for consumers who produce distributed generation, including small wind turbines, thermal biomass, electric biomass, and solar thermal energy. Directs the commission to consider whether a credit program would work for consumers who produce distributed generation. Requires the commission to present the policy and findings regarding a credit program to the transportation and energy committee of the house of representatives and the agriculture, natural resources, and energy committee of the senate.

Makes adjustments to the 2007 general appropriations act in order to implement the act.

APPROVED by Governor June 1, 2007
EFFECTIVE June 1, 2007

H.B. 07-1247 Payment of wages and compensation - penalties - fees. In statutes governing the payment of wages or compensation due upon termination of employment, increases, for demands of up to $7,500, the amount for which an employer is liable from 50% to 125% of the amount of earned, vested, and determinable wages due if the employee does not receive the wages within 14 days after written demand. Requires the penalty to be increased by 50% if the employee can show that the employer's failure to pay is willful. Allows the employee to show willful conduct by presenting evidence of a prior judgment, within the last 5 years, against the employer for failure to pay wages or compensation. Requires that an employer not be liable for any penalty if, within 14 days after the employee's demand, the employer makes a legal tender of the amount that the employer in good faith believes is due.

Allows a court to award an employer reasonable costs and attorney fees when, in any pleading or other court filing, the employee claims wages or compensation that exceed the greater of $7,500 or the jurisdictional limit for the small claims court, whether or not the case was filed in small claims court or whether or not the total amount sought in the action was within small claims court jurisdictional limits. Allows a court to award the employee reasonable costs and attorney fees if the employee recovers a sum greater than the amount tendered by the employer.

APPROVED by Governor May 31, 2007
EFFECTIVE May 31, 2007

H.B. 07-1285 Unemployment insurance - determination of timeliness of filings - rules. Requires the division of employment and training (division) in the department of labor and employment to determine the timeliness of claims, information relevant to a claim, and appeals filed with the division or the industrial claim appeals office based on the date the claim, information, or appeal is received by the division or industrial claim appeals office rather than the date the claim, information, or appeal is postmarked, if mailed. Lengthens the time for the receipt of such filings. Requires the director of the division to adopt rules establishing a procedure for claimants, employers, and interested parties to dispute a determination that a claim, information, or appeal was not timely filed.

APPROVED by Governor May 14, 2007
EFFECTIVE August 3, 2007
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause. For further explanation concerning the effective date, see page vi of this digest.

H.B. 07-1286 Unemployment insurance benefits - nonresidents - required identification. Requires an individual applying for unemployment insurance benefits through a reciprocal interstate agreement who is not a Colorado resident and is unable to produce a Colorado driver's license or Colorado identification card to:

         Produce a United States military card or military dependent's identification card, a United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner card, or a Native American tribal document; a valid driver's license or state identification card issued in another state; or, in the case of Canada residents, a valid Canadian identification card or valid Canadian driver's license; and

         Execute an affidavit stating that he or she is a United States citizen, a legal permanent resident, or otherwise lawfully present in the United States pursuant to federal law.

APPROVED by Governor April 26, 2007
EFFECTIVE August 3, 2007
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause. For further explanation concerning the effective date, see page vi of this digest.

H.B. 07-1297 Workers' compensation - disfigurement awards. Increases the cap, from $2,000 to $4,000, on the amount of an award the director of the division of workers' compensation (director) may allow to an injured employee, in addition to any other compensation benefits available to the injured employee, for serious, permanent disfigurement about the head, face, or body parts normally visible to the public and for other types of disfigurement. Allows the director to award up to $8,000 to an injured employee who sustains extensive facial scars or facial burn scars; extensive body scars or burn scars; or stumps due to loss or partial loss of limbs. Requires the director to annually adjust the cap on disfigurement awards based on the percentage of adjustment made to the state average weekly wage.

Makes the new award amounts applicable to injuries occurring on or after July 1, 2007.

APPROVED by Governor April 26, 2007
EFFECTIVE July 1, 2007

H.B. 07-1312 Employee leasing company - work-site employer - clarifications - collective bargaining units - tax credits - economic incentives. Clarifies that an employee leasing company does not engage in the substantive business operations of a work-site employer that are subject to the regulation of work-site employers pursuant to local, state, and federal law. Clarifies that for tax credit and economic incentive purposes, work-site employees are solely employees of the work-site employer and that the work-site employer is entitled to any credit or incentive that arises as a result of the employment regardless of a relationship with an employee leasing company. Clarifies that an arrangement between an employee leasing company and a work-site employer does not alter the identity of the work-site employer as a business entity. Clarifies that taxes, fees, and other assessments shall be assessed against a work-site employer based upon the number of work-site employees under the contract with the employee leasing company and against the employee leasing company based upon the number of employees who are not work-site employees.

APPROVED by Governor April 16, 2007
EFFECTIVE August 3, 2007
NOTE: This act was passed without a safety clause. For further explanation concerning the effective date, see page vi of this digest.

H.B. 07-1366 Workers' compensation - construction work - coverage. On or after October 1, 2007, requires every person who contracts for the performance of work at a construction site to either provide workers' compensation coverage or require proof of workers' compensation coverage for every person performing construction work at the site.

Punishes violations with a civil penalty of up to $500 per day, payable to the workers' compensation cash fund.

Exempts certain employers that have rejected workers' compensation coverage and an owner or occupant, or both, of residential real property who contracts out any work done on the property from providing workers' compensation coverage to the contractors.

Makes the act applicable to acts occurring on or after October 1, 2007.

APPROVED by Governor June 1, 2007
EFFECTIVE June 1, 2007

 

Session Laws of Colorado Digest of Bills General Assembly State of Colorado


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