Law

SB 181 – What does it mean for mineral owners

Senate Bill 19-181, the proposed comprehensive overhaul of oil and gas regulation in Colorado, has sparked widespread controversy and debate.  The bill is now headed to Gov. Polis’ desk for signature.  Industry groups strongly opposed the bill, while proponents say it is a logical step in ensuring the safety of Colorado’s communities and the environment.  But what do the changes under SB-181 mean for mineral owners?

From the perspective of a mineral owner, the most significant change has to do with what is called “forced pooling.”  In order to drill a well, oil and gas operators need to acquire the right to extract the oil and gas from that well.  Operators can do this by purchasing the oil and gas rights or by leasing those rights.  Under Colorado’s force pooling laws, operators can also force pool the interests of owners from whom it was not able to acquire a lease. 

Colorado’s current force pooling laws allow the operator to force pool unleased interests even if it owns or has leased only a small percentage of the oil and gas interests.  Landmen for the oil and gas operators will sometimes use the threat of forced pooling to persuade reluctant mineral owners to enter an oil and gas lease. 

From the perspective of the mineral owner, SB 181 makes two significant changes to Colorado’s force pooling laws.  First, operators will not be permitted to force pool interests unless they own, or have acquired leases from, more than 50% of the mineral interests to be pooled.  Second, the royalty rate for mineral owners who are force pooled changes from 12.5% to 15%.  These changes provide protections to mineral owners.  The threat of being force pooled will be less effective against reluctant mineral owners and, where an owner is force pooled, they will be entitled to a higher percentage of the revenue from a well.  Given the complexity of oil and gas leases and Colorado’s forced pooling, it is always best to seek the advice of an experienced oil and gas attorney in responding to proposed development of your mineral interests.

James Godbold
Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC
1812 56th Avenue
Greeley, CO 80634
970-330-6700
jgodbold@nocoattorneys.com
www.nocoattorneys.com


Technology

Can Your Business Effectively Mitigate the Risk of Cyber-Threats?

Almost daily we hear news of hacking attempts and data breaches, and most small businesses are left wondering how they can protect themselves from becoming a victim of cybercrime. This is a legitimate concern, because 58% of malware attack victims are categorized as small businesses and this stat appears to be on the rise. In fact, many SMBs see phishing scams and other malware attacks as the number one threat facing their business. While there are many tools that can prevent an attack from penetrating your business network, businesses often overlook the factor that makes them most vulnerable to attack – their people.

That’s right, people are the weak link in cyber security for businesses. Employee negligence is the main cause of data breaches, according to a state of the industry report by Shred-it, an information security company. In 2017, data breaches cost companies an average of $3.6 million globally, according to a separate report from the Ponemon Institute. For smaller organizations especially, that price tag could wipe out the business. Also, a data breach can also cheapen a company’s brand and negatively impact their ability to do work.

Despite this, approximately 65% of SMBs report having no employee training on cybersecurity. The research and advisory firm Gartner maintains that applied examples of cybersecurity awareness training easily justify its costs. According to their data, untrained users click on 90 percent of the links within emails received from outside email addresses, causing 10,000 malware infections within a single year. By their calculations, these infections led to an overall loss of productivity of 15,000 hours per year. Assuming an average wage of $85/hr, lost productive costs reach $1,275,000 which does not necessarily account for other potential costs such as reputational damage, remediation cost, or fines associated with breaches.

Information security training can change user behavior to stop handing over the keys to the kingdom. Cybersecurity awareness training, when it includes features like realistic phishing simulations and engaging, topical content, can elevate the security IQ of users, reducing user error and improving the organization’s security posture along the way.

Connecting Point can help your organization assess its exposure to information breaches and develop a security awareness training program to educate your employees. Please contact Connecting Point at 970-356-7224 to discuss Cybersecurity and employee training for your business.

Scott M. Warner
Vice President, Sales | Connecting Point
2401 17th Street
Greeley, CO  80634
970.356.7224   Main line
970.395.2317  Direct line
970.405.3248 - Cell
scott.warner@cpcolorado.com | www.cpcolorado.com


Payroll & Workforce Services

Protect Your Business with an Employee Handbook

As one of our clients recently learned the hard way, having a signed Employee Handbook provides valuable guidance to the employee as well as protection for the business.

Why is an Employee Handbook important for your business? Risk comes in all forms. By introducing clear expectations up front in written form, you are mitigating risk factors from many angles. Upon hiring, each person of your talent staff will sign off acknowledging that they have read, understood, and familiarized themselves with your company’s expectations, policies, and guidelines.

Furthermore, if there is ever a claim against your company, it will demonstrate that you, the employer, have provided the basic duty of care; or commonly referred to as reasonable care or common-law duty. The benefits include, but are not limited to:

  • fair employee claims management
  • safety of employee
  • state and federal law compliance
  • designation of multiple management and third-party contacts for workplace assistance

Subscription HR services make building an Employee Handbook extremely affordable for small businesses. Not only are Employee Handbooks available, many other features are offered, benefiting you with time savings.

  • Employee Handbook and policy development
  • New hire paperwork and procedures
  • Employee leave compliance
  • Termination procedures and requirements
  • Employee relations
  • Situational guidance and advice
  • State and federal employment obligations
  • Manager training
  • FMLA and other leave management guidance
  • HR Compliance for all 50 states
  • Employee Handbook builder
  • Law Library
  • Job descriptions
  • HR forms, letters, and templates
  • HR trainings
  • New hire kit

Reach out to Payroll Vault today to get started with subscription HR services.

www.payrollvault-fort-collins-co-135.com

970-691-8346

Zane Glover I  Payroll Consultant
Zane.Glover@payrollvault.com  
www.payrollvault.com
www.payrollvault-fort-collins-co-135.com
325 Cherry Street, Suite 110
Fort Collins, Colorado 80521
970-691-8346 (ph)  


Technology

Information Security Training – A Top Security Tool for Businesses

Almost daily we hear news of hacking attempts and data breaches, and most small businesses are left wondering how they can protect themselves from becoming a victim of cybercrime.  This is a legitimate concern, because 58% of malware attack victims are categorized as small businesses and this stat appears to be on the rise.  In fact, many SMBs see phishing scams and other malware attacks as the number one threat facing their business.  While there are many tools that can prevent an attack from penetrating your business network, businesses often overlook the factor that makes them most vulnerable to attack – their people.

That’s right, people are the weak link in cyber security for businesses.  Employee negligence is the main cause of data breaches, according to a state of the industry report by Shred-it, an information security company.  In 2017, data breaches cost companies an average of $3.6 million globally, according to a separate report from the Ponemon Institute.  For smaller organizations especially, that price tag could wipe out the business.  Also, a data breach can also cheapen a company’s brand and negatively impact their ability to do work.

Despite this, approximately 65% of SMBs report having no employee training on cybersecurity.  The research and advisory firm Gartner maintains that applied examples of cybersecurity awareness training easily justify its costs. According to their data, untrained users click on 90 percent of the links within emails received from outside email addresses, causing 10,000 malware infections within a single year. By their calculations, these infections led to an overall loss of productivity of 15,000 hours per year. Assuming an average wage of $85/hr, lost productive costs reach $1,275,000 which does not necessarily account for other potential costs such as reputational damage, remediation cost, or fines associated with breaches.

Information security training can change user behavior to stop handing over the keys to the kingdom.  Cybersecurity awareness training, when it includes features like realistic phishing simulations and engaging, topical content, can elevate the security IQ of users, reducing user error and improving the organization’s security posture along the way.

Connecting Point can help your organization assess its exposure to information breaches and develop a security awareness training program to educate your employees.  Please contact Connecting Point at 970-356-7224 to discuss Cybersecurity and employee training for your business.

Andy Warner
Business Consultant | Connecting Point
2401 17th Street
Greeley, CO  80634
(970) 356-7224   Main line
(970) 395-9823   Direct line
awarner@cpcolorado.com | www.cpcolorado.com


Health Care

Columbine Health Systems Newest Facility – THE WINDSOR Independent Living

The Windsor Independent Living Facility is conveniently located in the heart of Windsor at the corner of 14th and Main Street.  The Windsor provides two different floor plans– one bedroom/one bath and two bedroom/two bath.

With only 31 apartments, the unique size offers an intimate and family-oriented living environment where friendships and connections are easy to make.

Apartments feature open floor plans with spacious living rooms and kitchens for entertaining and walk-out balconies or patios. Each unit is equipped with in-unit stackable washers and dryers. Other commons areas for residents use include; the Activity Room with full kitchen, Library, Exercise Room, Game Area, Private Dining Room, Sun Room, Beauty Salon, and General Store.

Residents can rest assured  reception staff are awake and available in the facility 24 hours a day in case of emergencies. A varied activity and wellness program, seven days a week, encourages residents to remain active and engaged with cultural, educational, spiritual and social activities. Columbine’s van transportation is available for medical appointments, personal trips, and shopping. The restaurant-style dining room offers daily made-to-order breakfast and dinner. Weekly housekeeping and linen service are included for residents’ convenience.

A lifestyle with amenities is essential for older adults.  Our goal for The Windsor is for our residents to enjoy quality services with ample flexibility to meet their individual needs. Our pet-friendly facility offers a lifestyle where housework, yard maintenance, snow removal, and meal preparation are a thing of past!

Also on the Windsor campus, residents have easy access to doctor’s offices and Columbine services including; outpatient therapy, home health, companion care, and medical equipment and supplies. Our Westwood Patio Homes, Columbine Commons Assisted Living and Health & Rehab are located on the same campus.

We look forward to providing you a tour as we will open in May 2019!

Lindsey Miller
Manager
The Windsor/Westwood Patio Homes
970-460-5005
www.columbinehealth.com


Law

Estate Planning For All Ages

Statistics show that the average American waits until the latter stages of life to obtain an estate plan, and while we all hope to live long and healthy lives, many people are leaving themselves in less than ideal circumstances should tragedy strike. In fact, a staggering 78 percent of millennials (ages 18-36) and 64 percent of Generation X (ages 37 to 52) do not have an estate plan, many of whom have minor children.

While the main component of a complete estate plan, a well drafted will or trust, will effectively and efficiently distribute your assets upon death, it is also a vital instrument to name guardians for minor children.  Should someone pass away with minor children and without a well-drafted will appointing a guardian, a judge will decide who will fill this role.  The process of appointing a guardian can be extremely difficult for children and can lead to tension and emotional turmoil.

In addition to a will or trust, it is important to have general and medical powers of attorney.  A general power of attorney appoints an individual to make financial decisions on behalf of the principal.  This includes paying rent or a mortgage, depositing paychecks, and paying routine bills.  Further, a medical power of attorney appoints an individual to make medical decisions when the principal is incapable of doing so.  Without this position designated, loved ones will be unable to make medical decisions for the principal in urgent situations. Both powers of attorney are necessary for any legal adult since an individual’s parents or spouse do not have the authority to make legal decisions for the incapacitated person.  Overall, a thoughtful and thorough estate plan is necessary for every adult regardless of individual circumstances.   

Corey Moore
Otis, Bedingfield & Peters, LLC
2725 Rocky Mountain Avenue, Suite 320
Loveland, CO 80538
970-663-7300
cmoore@nocoattorneys.com
www.nocoattorneys.com


Payroll & Workforce Services

Don’t Mess with the IRS!

While some tax obligations come with safety valves, such as the option of filing for an extension on income tax returns, there is no leeway with payroll taxes.

If you file your reports or make withholding deposits late, the meter on interest and penalties starts running immediately for failure to file, failure to deposit, and failure to pay.

Payroll is more than just issuing paychecks and filing a year-end W2.

You must also file monthly or quarterly reports with the IRS along with various state tax agencies, and money must be transferred from the business to the appropriate taxing agencies timely.

When you withhold taxes from your employees’ pay, that money no longer belongs to you. It is part of the employees’ pay and needs to be deposited on their behalf before the deadline.

The IRS does not look kindly at employers who treat the money they withhold from their employees’ pay checks as a cash flow cushion.

The argument for outsourcing payroll administration functions is strong, and it’s only getting stronger. Not only can you reduce your exposure to missed filing deadlines and the penalties they trigger, you stay compliant with ever-changing labor laws and tax regulations.

Outsourcing will free you up to devote more of your time to business-strategic activities and you’ll benefit from increased employee satisfaction and morale.

At Payroll Vault, our mission is supporting your success.

Visit us at www.payrollvault.com; we’d love to be your payroll partners!

Carol McElwain, Owner
970.682.6603
www.payrollvault-fort-collins-co-101.com/
carol.mcelwain@payrollvault.com
375 E Horsetooth Rd #2‐101
Fort Collins, CO 80525