2021 Labor Law Changes
2021 is starting with a bang. Lots of labor law changes are now in effect and they will impact both employees and employers going forward.
For those of you that haven’t dug into these yet, we wanted to encapsulate them here.
First off, on January 1, Denver implemented a new minimum wage of $14.77. Mandated in 2019 by the Denver City Council, it will rise to $15.87 beginning next year. This is out of phase with the state minimum wage which is lagging behind at $12.32.
Any employee of the city or one that works in Denver will be subject to the city minimum.
Also, starting in 2021, the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act or HFWA will require that Colorado employers with more than 16 employees provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work, up to a minimum of 48 hours. Those hours are immediately available once earned and can be taken in one-hour increments.
Finally, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act has been implemented and the new law prohibits paying different wages for similar work on the basis of sex, beefing up existing federal rules on the topic.
There are also new provisions protecting whistleblowers primarily related to workplace safety and health.
We do our best at Denver Concierge to take great care of our people and support their safety, families, well-being, and ability to make good wages. We hope this shows through in the quality of work we do in your homes.
We will continue to do so, along with fully supporting all the city and state requirements to benefit our associates.
We may have mentioned we have quite a few clients and partners in the restaurant space and they have been hit particularly hard by COVID.
You also may have heard about the new “5 Star” program that is allowing restaurants and other businesses to gradually move towards normalcy. The basics are as follows:
The 5 Star State Certification Program enables businesses that meet enhanced safety guidelines in qualifying counties and municipalities to open at a greater capacity. The voluntary program recognizes businesses that have gone above and beyond to keep their communities safe.
Further, each county or municipality can decide whether to implement the 5 Star State Certification program.
So how is it calculated?
Well, it depends firstly on the dial level of the area the business operates in. Ranging from Green (good) to Purple (Very Bad), each area has a rating.
Establishments can then apply for variances based on where they currently operate and the “dial level” around them.
They are expected to exceed normal COVID requirements, hopefully making them much safer to visit.
We are excited to see the state helping small businesses get back up and running.
While we haven’t been able to find a certified list of 5 star approved restaurants yet, we hope one is coming soon.
Better Peace of Mind
Yes, 2020 was a bear.
There were many days when we struggled with the uncertainty, chaos, and disruption caused by COVID.
We like to think that we are mentally tough over here at Denver Concierge, but we are human and are always looking for better ways to cope.
Along that journey, we ran across a solid piece by the folks at Medium.com (one of our favorite self-help sites) about how we might obtain better peace of mind during these tough times.
One of the great concepts from the article is to focus on the stressors, not the stress.
Our minds are hard-wired to outrun animals that might be chasing us, looking for their next meal. While those were real concerns for our ancestors, they really aren’t anymore (at least for most of us hopefully).
Yet our brains are hardwired to react with “fight or flight” reactions to things that truly are not life-threatening.
We found the article informative and helpful and we sure hope you do as well.
We wish you much peace of mind in 2021.
2020 Words of the Year
Want to take a guess at the word of the year in 2020?
If you guessed PANDEMIC, you are correct.
Words fascinate us and the ones that come to the forefront each year are an interesting cross-section of what is going on in our world in a given year.
We were extremely interested to read Merriam Webster’s top 12 words of the year in 2020.
Based on search history they list the most-searched-for words
How about “Kraken”? “Schadenfreude”? Those were two words that were very popular, mainly thanks to the Seattle hockey team calling themselves the former and for people delighting in other people’s failure for the latter.
Our guess is our tumultuous political climate pushed schadenfreude into that spotlight. Plus, as the article says, it’s a fun word to say.
In respect to Kobe Bryant (rest in peace), the word “Mamba” was the most searched word shortly after his tragic helicopter crash.
It’s a quick read but gives great insight into our culture and the words we use in our daily lives.
101 Ways to Enjoy 2021 in Colorado
Wait, isn’t there a pandemic going on?
Well, yes, it technically is still here, although we are making progress. Knowing that, what can we do safely and enjoyably in our wonderful state in 2021?
Everything from adventure-packed road trips to cool classes you can take, the list is diverse and comprehensive.
Besides, if you are like us, we are ready to get out of the house at least a little bit (socially distanced of course).
Did you know, for example, that Denver has a “beer spa”? For $89 you can soak in a tub of unfermented beer. We aren’t sure about the health benefits of this but may just have to go see for ourselves, mainly because it involves the word beer.
Some great ideas to put a dent in the repetitive boredom of home confinement.
Annual Award Winners
We are super excited to announce our annual winners for Team Leader and Cleaning Associate of the year.
First, our monthly award winners for December were Rosario De La Rosa, Paz Jimenez, Martha Garcia, Simona Estrada, and Juana Luna.
In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Rosa Chavez.
Now, drum roll please…..
Our winner for best Cleaning Associate in 2020 is Maria Zapata. Runner up goes to Aurora Dominguez.
Our top Team Leader for 2020 goes to Socorro Ibarra. Our runner up is Juana Olivas.
It was a close race and one that was determined over only 9 months (thanks COVID) rather than the usual 12.
We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times.
Please join me in congratulating our best performers for 2020, the year of COVID.
Queen Bee Corner
Denver Concierge is a Green Certified Company.
This makes us a bit old fashioned, as we don’t use harsh chemicals or cleaning methods. Our cleaning is meant to be thorough and yet preserve what we clean, whether furniture, carpets, keepsakes, or collectibles.
We are not alone with our preservation mantra. There is a local contractor who has bought several rundown houses in one area of the city and surprisingly renovated them, rather than razing them, preserving history with a touch of progress.
His current endeavor is a hundred-year-old church which he has somehow managed to convert to inconspicuous condos without changing the street view.
Preservation teamed with artistry and imagination. A good roadmap to the future.