Chuck Passaglia is an employment lawyer in Colorado. In 2003, he founded Employment Law Solutions, Inc., which specializes in providing advice and counsel in employment matters, conducting impartial and thorough workplace investigations, and training the entire workforce in critical employment law compliance topics, such as the laws of the workplace, ethics and standards of conduct, managing employees’ absences, compensation and benefits, and harassment prevention. He delivers more than 150 entertaining and popular training courses a year. In addition, his award-winning book, Can I Bring my Pet Monkey to Work? Answers to 45 of the Wildest Workplace Law Questions was published in November 2020.
Previously, he served as a judge advocate (military officer and attorney) on active duty, and in the Reserve force, in the United States Navy and is a veteran of combat support operations in the Middle East and East Africa; he was a litigation attorney with Moye Giles (now Moye White) in Denver; and was in-house employment law counsel for the Employers Council, Inc.
Chuck received a degree in Philosophy from St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri and his law degree from the University of Denver. At the University of Denver, he served on the Board of Editors of the Denver University Law Review.
On-Site or On-line Training Courses
101 Things a Manager Must Know: Understanding the Law of the Workplace
This is the second-most popular class at Employment Law Solutions, Inc. This overview course for leaders, including managers, supervisors and human resources professionals, is designed to enable attendees to spot and resolve common issues that surface in every workplace. The course includes the most current and important workplace issues of which managers must be aware. More specifically, this class is divided into five critical areas: Nature of the Employment Relationship, including “at-will” employment, major exceptions to this rule (which support claims of “wrongful discharge”), the duty of loyalty, and finally, the essential tools of a supervisor, such as proper interviewing and effective discipline; Wage and Hour Laws, including rules regarding overtime, rest periods, state wage payment laws, and the laws affecting employee benefits; Balancing Privacy and the Need to Know, including drug and alcohol abuse, access to personnel and medical information, monitoring employees at work, and the extent of privacy; Ending Prejudice and Stereotypes, discussing the laws protecting all employees from discrimination, and unique issues that arise in this area, including preventing claims of harassment, reasonable accommodation, how some decisions affect older workers and other protected groups, and the rights of “whistleblowers;” and Leave Laws, discussing the Family and Medical Leave Act and various leave rights of employees and how these rights intersect with workers’ compensation law, the Americans with Disabilities Act and Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
Advanced Understanding the Law of the Workplace: Practical Answers
The companion course to Understanding the Law of the Workplace walks leaders through numerous practical scenarios to test a manager’s ability to navigate myriad workplace laws. At the end of the course, supervisors are able to address common work problems that implicate employment laws and can spot the issues and assess the right thing to do.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance Strategies
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which became effective in 1992, prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals with a disability (or persons who have a record of a disability or non-disabled persons who are perceived as being disabled) if they can perform the essential functions of the job with or without accommodations that are “reasonable.” This course teaches all employees how to comply with the ADA, including determining essential functions of the job, the duty to accommodate reasonably, and addressing the rights of disabled applicants and employees.
Annual Employment Law Update for Supervisors
This class provides an overview of the critical employment laws, regulations and cases that have occurred over the prior year in order to keep employers up to date on new legal obligations and current human resources trends at work.
Attendance Management: Absence to Attendance
Lost time from work has tremendous adverse consequences for employers and their employees. This course prepares leaders to hold employees accountable for attendance at work. We address the ways employers set expectations for attendance, the methods of communicating attendance expectations, incentives to attend work and the lawful excuses for missing work.
Critical Skills of a Leader
This practical course for executive leadership, managers and employees moving into management positions is designed to enable leaders to spot and resolve common legal and human resources issues that surface in every workplace and to make every employee a better leader. We discuss the current, critical landmines that employers must be able to detect and defuse. This class specifically addresses how to manage today's problems -- bullies, jokesters, gossips, bad attitudes, behaviors you suspect may stem from a mental health condition and employees who express themselves inappropriately through electronic communication and the Internet – within the bounds of the law.
Dealing with the Disloyal Employee
"A man cannot serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or hold to the one and despise the other." This old quote is still apt today. Loyalty is of diminishing value on our society; employees change jobs more frequently; employees are less-connected to their employer; and they may take critical information with them when they leave. This class is an overview of the legal and management issues surrounding disloyal employees. Learning topics include dealing with negative comments about work and supervisors; the common law duty of loyalty; unfair competition; the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; and restrictive covenants and non-competition provisions.
The pen is truly mightier than the sword . . . at work. An effective leader must be able to document employee performance and, if necessary, reward good performance and behaviors or discipline poor performance and behaviors. In this class, participants will hone the critical skills required to effectively document and evaluate the performance of employees. Participants will practice writing job-related employee disciplinary documentation and performance evaluations to effectively communicate organizational expectations.
Dollars and Good Sense: Understanding Wage and Hour Law
Money, money, money. The greatest expense of most employers is the wages paid to employees. Federal wage and hours worked requirements are primarily governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (“FLSA”). This class discusses the FLSA and state wage payment requirements. Leaders must have an understanding of wage payment obligations – what “work” must be paid for and what an employer does not have to pay for – and the exemptions from federal and state law.
EEO Law: Defeating Prejudice and Stereotypes
This course provides a full understanding of U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Laws and addresses recurring and evolving problems of discrimination and harassment. This course is recommended for all employees, but particularly supervisors and managers.
This class is designed to raise awareness of ethical decision-making and how to act properly when the rules are not clear . . . or when no one is looking. Learning topics include understanding the ethics rules of the organization, ethical traps of which employees must be aware, the five moral theories every person should know and developing an effective decision-making model.
FMLA/ADA/Workers' Compensation: Managing the Workplace Bermuda Triangle
This program provides a critical understanding of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state workers’ compensation law. The ADA, FMLA and workers’ compensation laws are separate laws, but rights under each law can run concurrently. This course teaches the key elements of each law, where the laws overlap and diverge and, most importantly, the rights and obligations of employers and their employees under each law. This class is necessary for being able to manage employees’ leaves of absence from work or the inability to work.
FMLA for Supervisors: A Right-Not-to-Work Law
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA) creates a right not to work. The FMLA was significantly amended in 2009. A leader cannot manage the ill or injured worker without a firm understanding of the FMLA. Indeed, now, it is the responsibility of every supervisor not only to manage employees at work, but also employees who cannot or will not come to work every day due to illness, injury or other disabling condition. This overview course for leaders focuses on an employee’s rights and an employer’s responsibilities under the FMLA.
HIPAA Basic Requirements
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, or HIPAA, is sweeping healthcare reform legislation with significant impact on health care providers, health insurance plans and employers. Title I of HIPAA ensures access to, and portability of, health insurance coverage for workers and their families when they change or lose their jobs. Title II of HIPAA, called “Administrative Simplification,” requires the establishment of national standards for electronic health care transactions and demands the security and privacy of health data. These provisions are hardly simple. Indeed, HIPAA was amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act, or HITECH Act, as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the economic “stimulus” bill), and a final omnibus rule was promulgated in 2013. This brief overview course focuses on all of the elements of HIPAA in order to gain a firm understanding of individual and organizational compliance responsibilities under the law, including the rights of individuals under HIPAA, safeguarding protected health information and recognizing potential situations when HIPAA impacts health care providers, health insurance plans and employers.
Hiring Right: Legal Issues in Hiring
Most leaders know that the key to an organization’s success depends on hiring the right person for the job. In fact, most organizations groom their own future leaders from within the ranks. Sadly, most of us also realize, almost immediately it seems, the pain of a bad decision in hiring. Hiring employees is expensive, and time-consuming and, even in the best circumstances, results in delayed gratification. This course is intended to avoid mistakes and guide managers through the legal maze of hiring. Learning topics include recruiting and advertising for positions, interviewing, medical questions in hiring, offers of employment, testing applicants and negligent hiring.
Keys to Performance Management
In today’s litigious climate, few employment decisions are without some legal risk. However, failure to address substandard performance or employee misconduct also carries significant legal risks. This class addresses risk selection, not risk avoidance, in managing employees. In this course, attendees will receive practical tools for: Understanding the critical issues of performance management; legally communicating and documenting expectations with employees; using (or the decision not to use) steps in the disciplinary process; and minimizing legal liability through consistency and appropriate timing.
Investigations: Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations
Nearly every workplace is confronted with an internal complaint of discrimination, including harassment, or other misconduct. Employers usually have a legal responsibility to investigate such complaints. Moreover, a well-conducted workplace investigation can resolve conflicts without resorting to litigation or, in the event of a lawsuit, can better protect an organization. This fast-paced course gives participants a clear understanding of the legal issues that can arise in internal investigations and teaches sound methods for conducting an internal investigation into discrimination and harassment claims. This class is designed to walk a participant through an internal investigation, how to conduct effective interviews of the subject, alleged victim and any witnesses, and deliver a coherent investigation report.
Leadership Skills for Challenging Times
This class was developed at the request of an employer to address, in an expedited format, five core areas of supervisory skills: The Law of the Workplace; Motivating Your People; Demanding Civility; Setting Expectations and Effective Communication; and Performance Documentation.
Little Known Laws: Avoiding Legal Traps for the Unwary
This class addresses some of the little-known federal and Colorado state laws that tend to trip up managers and human resources professionals, including state wage payment requirements, unique time off obligations under federal and state law, and surprising regulatory requirements that often fall under the radar of an organization.
Managing Off-Duty Conduct
This class addresses an organization’s ability to address off-duty activity that impacts work. A wide range of topics are discussed including privacy, off-duty romance, political activity, speaking out and the First Amendment, use of social media and other technology, and drug and alcohol misuse or abuse.
Violence Prevention at Work
Violence is a growing problem in our society. The workplace is not immune. Workplace homicide is the second leading cause of occupational fatality in the United States; it is the leading cause of death at work for women. All employees must understand the magnitude of this problem and how to protect themselves, and each other, at work. This class is designed to raise awareness of the problem of workplace violence, to assist employees in spotting potentially violent situations, and how to deal effectively with incidents before they turn violent. This class focuses on practical steps for addressing actual workplace violence situations. It also addresses many of the common myths and misunderstandings about workplace violence in order to focus on the real nature of the problem.
Workplace Respect: The New Rules of Civility
This overview class addresses all aspects of incivility, including communication types and overcoming communication problems, using technology politely, professional and positive work appearance and relationships, and common difficulties that occur in the workplace. In particular, this course discusses strategies for dealing with uncivil behavior.
Workplace Respect: The Case for Diversity
This class is designed to raise awareness of the changing demographics of the United States, to discuss how the diverse nature of American society is a benefit for organizations, and to address how to protect each other from disrespect and offense. This course gives all employees, but particularly supervisors and managers, a clearer understanding of the legal boundaries of workplace respect, employees’ responsibilities to address bad behavior, and methods for preventing discrimination and harassment claims.
Workplace Respect: Harassment Prevention
The most popular course offered by Employment Law Solutions, Inc., this class addresses the workplace problem of our generation: Sexual and other unlawful harassment. This class is designed to raise awareness of the problem of workplace harassment, to discuss expectations of civil behavior, and to address how to protect employees and each other from disrespect and offense at work. Topics include understanding U.S. and state civil rights laws and who is protected from unlawful harassment; the difference between what is unfair and what is unlawful; conduct that can constitute unlawful harassment and how employees make mistakes; new issues in harassment such as bullying, texting and misuse of social media; and the mechanisms to curb or end harassment.
Workplace Respect: Harassment Prevention for Supervisors
In this class designed specifically for managers and supervisors, the learning objectives in the Harassment Prevention class are met and additional topics are addressed, including the liability of employers, the responsibility of supervisors to model good behavior and address the offensive behavior of others, and how to respond to and investigate complaints of harassment.
Workplace Respect: Managing our Unconscious Biases
Recently, it has become clear that many employees never see the problem of their own or others’ behavior. All of us have “unconscious” biases – unconscious assumptions and judgments we make about others based on our own life experiences – that can impact relationships and everyday interactions. Therefore, this fast-paced course raises awareness of our unconscious bias and teaches methods for "debiasing" the workplace.