Joe Hunt Quoted on Whistleblower Protections Bill for Safe Return to Work

DENVER, Colo. (July 21, 2020) — Law Week Colorado quoted Joe Hunt in an article entitled “Whistleblower Protections Bill Signed into Law.” The article, published on July 20, discusses recent whistleblower protections signed into law by Governor Jared Polis on June 11, increasing protections for Coloradans returning to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The law prohibits a “principal” from retaliating against a worker for raising “reasonable concern” about health and safety workplace violations.

Hunt was quoted on the law’s impact on confidentiality provisions in contracts, releases, and separation agreements, “effective immediately, whistleblower claims should be excluded from releases and settlement agreements for Colorado employers.”

Additionally, according to Hunt, a whistleblower may be any worker with knowledge of a violation, even if the worker has not suffered an adverse employment action, and a whistleblower could also be a representative of a worker.

“Consequently, we should expect unions and worker associations to take advantage of this provision to bring claims as what is known as private attorneys general on behalf of the state,” Hunt said. “And because the law anticipates that plaintiffs will bring both individual claims and also whistleblower claims, the law is likely to lead to multiplication of lawsuits.”

The full article was published in the July 20, 2020, edition. (Subscription required)