In Colorado, an employee can be fired for any reasons because the state is an “at-will” state. This means an employee can be fired for no reason at all. However, the at-will law does have exceptions. It is illegal for an employer to wrongfully terminate an employee.
What is wrongful Termination in Colorado?
Wrongful termination refers to an employer dismissing an employee because of a reason that violates state or federal laws. For instance, a person can’t be fired because of their religion, ethnic background, race, gender or disability. This violates federal discrimination laws. If an employee is fired for any of those reasons, they can fight to retain their job or receive compensation.
Can an Employee be Fired in Colorado after an Implied Promise of Employment?
Yes. Most Colorado companies are careful to only provide promise of employment in writing to employees. In some instances, an employer may make promises to an employee that implies an agreement was made such as permanent employment or a job promotion.
Public Policy Violations by a Colorado Employer is a Reason for Wrongful Termination Claim
Some actions will invalidate an employer’s reason for firing an at-will employee. For example, an employer can’t fire an employee for refusing to do something illegal. They can’t fire an employee for doing something on the job that was part of their job duties. An employer also can’t fire any employee because of a public policy.
What is a Public Policy Violation in Colorado Employment?
Public policies are some things that benefit the public but can interfere with work obligations. The most common examples of public policies are requesting time off from work for jury duty and needing to leave work for National Guard or military duty. Another common public policy is requesting time off from work to vote in a local, state or federal election.
An employer who fires an employee for disclosing illegal activity to police can be sued for wrongful termination. An employee must keep their job if they file a discrimination complaint with the Colorado or report a safety violation to Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).
Remedies for Colorado Wrongful Termination
An employee who is successful in a wrongful termination case is eligible to receive damages. In law, damages are money given to the plaintiff to compensation them for the illegal firing. Damages may include back pay, punitive damages and lost wages. The employer may be responsible for paying the plaintiff’s wrongful termination attorney colorado fees. An employee also has the option to get their job back. This means they can work for the employer again.
Seek Legal Assistance to Determine if a Firing was Illegal
Wrongful termination is one way an employee can receive financial compensation for an illegal firing. Suing for wrongful termination depends on evidence such as whether there was a written contract that promised the employee job security. To understand more about wrongful termination and if a lawsuit should be filed, contact a lawyer.