An argument after someone was discriminated against in a work environment, something the Colorado AI anti-discrimination bill aims to curb.

Imagine getting rejected for a job based on an algorithm’s biases. While this once would have sounded like a scene out of a sci-fi film or novel, this has become a reality for countless Americans. A newly passed Colorado AI anti-discrimination bill is shining a light on the shadowy world of AI-driven hiring decisions. 

Like a bolt of lightning striking earth, AI almost instantly transformed the landscape of employment law, and discrimination lawsuits filed against businesses for the use of AI continue to surface and make headlines. For employers, it’s imperative to understand how evolving regulations could expose them to the risk of lawsuits and costly penalties for not adapting and complying. For employees and job applicants, it is crucial to understand the rights you have pertaining to the use of AI in decision-making, such as hiring or promotions.

This new law is just the beginning of increased protections and regulations regarding the use of AI for such decision-making in the workplace. As a thought leader, speaker, and legal commentator on AI in the workplace, my passion is pulling the curtain back and informing the public about such groundbreaking changes to employment law. It is essential to understand these changes so everyone can adapt to rapidly evolving workplace environments. So, let’s get into this law and its implications.

What’s the New Colorado AI Anti-Discrimination Bill

On May 17, Colorado Governor Jared Polis ratified a groundbreaking law, making Colorado the first state to pass a comprehensive law that regulates artificial intelligence, specifically as it relates to algorithmic discrimination, and protects its residents.

Effective February 1, 2026, this Colorado AI anti-discrimination bill, also known as Senate Bill (SB) 21-169, polices the unjustified different treatment or impacts that algorithmic discrimination could have on people based on their race, color, ethnicity, sex, religion, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, genetic information, and any other classification protected by law. 

This pioneering piece of legislation could also mean that employers must be transparent and provide applicants and employees with notices and more detailed information about how AI is used for decision-making during the hiring process. 

Employers must also regularly and systematically review their risk management policies and programs, report to Colorado’s attorney general the discovery of algorithmic discrimination within their AI systems within 90 days of discovery, and make necessary adjustments and updates to remedy it. 

Still, like always, there are some exemptions. The bill exempts smaller businesses with less than 50 employees that don’t use their own data to train AI systems, as well as companies that want to protect information that could be considered a trade secret. 

This landmark law has made Colorado the first state to pass a bill that protects its residents from AI discrimination, a growing concern nationwide that has been neglected by the federal government. Employers have until February 2026 to adjust their practices and ensure compliance. 

Related Article: Angela Reddock-Wright on CVS Discrimination Lawsuit

How Will the Colorado AI Anti-Discrimination Bill Impact Employment Law?

As AI has pervaded virtually every aspect of life, hiring processes are particularly susceptible to its misuse. To further complicate matters, Congress has made no consistent or concerted effort to prevent, address, or even anticipate the risks these technologies pose. 

Few bills have been signed into law regulating the use of AI, and Colorado’s recently passed legislation is poised to be the most impactful by far. 

With this bill, the burden will rest on the shoulders of employers to identify and evaluate the potential for discrimination in their AI systems, such as bias audits and impact assessments. Employers will also be expected to take “reasonable care” to minimize risks.

Some employers may need to implement specific policies and procedures for using AI tools when hiring, like ensuring there is clear human oversight and review processes. Failure to comply could result in penalizations to companies and expose them to the risk of litigation if employees suspect they were discriminated against due to an AI system.

While federal AI regulation is still necessary, this Colorado AI anti-discrimination bill could serve as a catalyst, causing other states to pass similar legislation and, ultimately, forcing the hand of the federal government to create federal laws that govern the use of AI in the workplace and beyond. 

Americans don’t just want protections from biased decision-making tools, especially in the workplace – they increasingly are demanding them. This newly passed law signals a major shift in that direction, as California and New York are actively debating similar laws to regulate the use of AI. 

Related Article: Angela Reddock-Wright on Uber Eats Discrimination Lawsuit

Thought Leader, Speaker, and Commentator on AI in the Workplace

AI has quickly begun to transform the landscape of employment law, and this technology is here to stay. Because such changes to employment law have a huge influence on the work environment and culture that employers and employees must operate within, understanding the potential implications of such automation in the workplace is crucial to protect employers and employees. As this Colorado AI anti-discrimination bill demonstrates, understanding these recent shifts is not a luxury. It is essential for businesses to have a firm grasp of these law changes and groundbreaking precedents to avoid liability, lawsuits, and costly mistakes, and it is crucial for employees to understand their rights. As a thought leader, speaker, and commentator on AI in the workplace and all aspects of employment law, I am uniquely positioned and qualified to provide expert insight and analysis on all employment law issues. These issues can be complex, so you need a seasoned legal professional to shed light on them. My passion is being a beacon in uncertain times of transition that provides that light. 

Related Article: AI in the Workplace Series – NYC’s Automated Employment Decision Tool Law & How It’s Addressing AI Bias

Thought Leader, Speaker, and Commentator on AI in the Workplace and Other Breaking Employment Law News

I am a former employment and labor law attorney turned mediator, ADR, and conflict resolution specialist who believes it is crucial to stay current with groundbreaking changes to employment law for employees and employers alike. My passion is educating the general public on recent developments in employment law and the workplace trends that impact them as a thought leader, speaker, and commentator on AI in the workplace and all aspects of employment law. My more than 20 years of experience as a media legal analyst and contributor have led to my own radio show on Tavis Smiley’s KBLA Talk 1580, “Legal Lens with Angela Reddock.” I also am a regular speaker and blogger on employment law and issues related to the workplace.




Also, learn more about my book – The Workplace Transformed: 7 Crucial Lessons from the Global Pandemic – here –

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This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.

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