Colorado Wrongful Termination
Wrongful termination is a form of employment discrimination, occurring when an employer terminates an employee for unlawful reasons that violate an employment contract, public policy, or state or federal antidiscrimination statutes. There are a number of federal laws in place that set the basic standards for the equal treatment of employees in the workplace, but Colorado also has its own laws against employment discrimination and wrongful termination, which is why it’s so important to know your rights as an employee in Colorado. If you have been fired from employment in Colorado, and you believe your termination was wrongful, contact a knowledgeable Colorado employment law attorney today to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file a wrongful termination claim against your employer, in order to pursue financial compensation for your losses.
At-Will Employment in Colorado
The state of Colorado follows the legal doctrine of “at-will” employment, which means that an employer in Colorado can fire an employee at any time and for any reason, or for no reason at all. The general principle behind the concept of at-will employment is that employers are able to seek out the best employees for their needs, and employees are able to seek out the job position that best suits their talents. However, there are several exceptions to the presumption of at-will employment in Colorado, including the following:
- Termination based on a protected characteristic – It is against the law for an employer in Colorado to discriminate in terminating an employee, i.e. firing an employee on the basis of his race, color, age, sex, religion, national origin or another protected category.
- Termination in violation of public policy – An employee in Colorado cannot be terminated for reasons that violate public policy. Examples include firing an employee for refusing to commit perjury, filing a workers’ compensation claim, bringing or threatening to bring a lawsuit, engaging in lawful off-duty activities, reporting illegal activity on the part of the employer (whistleblowing), or serving on a jury. Also included in the violation of public policy exception to Colorado’s at-will employment doctrine is retaliation, in which an employer fires an employee for exercising his rights or engaging in a protected activity.
- Termination in violation of an employment contract – If a Colorado employee has a written, oral or implied employment contract promising job security, he or she may not be considered an at-will employee, and the employer may not be able to fire the employee without good cause, regardless of Colorado’s at-will employment doctrine.
A Reputable Colorado Employment Law Attorney Can Help
Employment discrimination and wrongful termination present an ongoing problem in workplaces in Colorado and throughout the United States, and if you have been fired from your job in Colorado, you might be wondering whether you have grounds to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against your employer. Your first course of action in pursuing a charge of wrongful termination in Colorado should be to enlist the help of a knowledgeable Colorado employment law attorney who can help you sort through the facts and assess the strength of your claim. Whether you want to get your job back, negotiate a severance package or sue your employer in court, an experienced Colorado wrongful termination lawyer can help.