The topic of wrongful termination is filled with controversy. For example, Colorado is an at-will employment state. What this means is that either party can end the working relationship for any reason or no reason at all. Many Denver area employers take this to mean that they can fire a worker regardless of any other issues that may be present.
Although at-will employment does allow employers to hire and fire at will, they must still abide by federal laws regarding wrongful termination. We feel a good way to understand these laws is to look at the exceptions to at-will employment.
Common exceptions to at-will employment
Employers may not terminate an employee solely because of his or her protected status (race, age, gender, disability, religion, etc.).
Employers in an implied (or written) contract with a worker may not terminate the employment if doing so would violate the contract.
In some cases, wrongful termination may occur if the employer fires someone in retaliation for a workers’ comp claim or for filing a workplace discrimination complaint.
We know that most people do not understand all the state’s employment laws and may not know when to file a wrongful termination claim. As such, we urge you all to seek a legal opinion if you have any doubts about the legality of your termination. In many cases, you can remedy your situation and improve the overall work environment for others in your area by speaking out.
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