The Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination and harassment in employment on the basis of sex or sexual orientation (CO Rev. Stat. Sec. 24-34-402). "Sexual orientation" is defined under the Act as a person's orientation toward heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, or transgender status; or an employer's perception of the person's sexual orientation.
The Act applies to all employers in the state. Religious organizations or associations are not covered by the Act unless they are supported by public funds.
The Colorado Personnel Board Rules prohibit discrimination in public employment based on sexual orientation (4 CO Code Regs. 801).
Employers and sponsors are prohibited from discriminating on the basis of sex or sexual orientation in apprenticeship programs.
Bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception. Differences in treatment are permissible where sex is a BFOQ “reasonably and rationally related” to the position in question. Thus, employment-related advertisements, application forms, or preemployment inquiries expressing, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification, or discrimination as to sex or sexual orientation are legal only if the characteristic is a BFOQ for the position involved. Regulations issued by the state civil rights commission expressly provide that BFOQ exceptions as to sex should be narrowly interpreted; therefore, employers should be very cautious about using a BFOQ exception as a basis for making employment decisions (3 CO Code Regs. 708-1 Rule 80.2 et seq.).
Dress codes. According to regulations issued by the state civil rights commission, an employer may prescribe a dress code that serves a reasonable business purpose, provided that it ...