Our office remains open to serve your important legal needs during these turbulent and challenging times. We are happy to schedule client consultations and client meetings by telephone or video-conference at your request.
Bryan E. Kuhn
Counselor at Law, P.C.
Business & Employment Law Attorney

Can you fire an employee who belongs to a “protected” class?

To insulate people from workplace discrimination, some workers are considered part of legally protected “classes” based on things like their gender, religion, race or other factors. 

But say you have a worker who happens to be in one of these protected classes — and they simply aren’t very good at their job. You may hear other executives note that you “can’t fire them” because of their status within the protected class. Is this true?

Even workers in a protected class can be fired for legitimate reasons

As you suspect, it isn’t true that you cannot fire someone if they belong to a protected class. You certainly can. People just say it because they’re worried that the employee will claim their termination was due to some form of illegal discrimination.  

Letting an under-performing or difficult worker go isn’t discrimination unless you fire them because of something related to their protected status. When you have a valid reason outside of those traits, you can fire them just as you could with any other employee. For example, you can’t fire a female employee because you don’t like women working in your office — but you can fire a female employee if she simply cannot do her work properly. 

This is why documentation can be so important. If you do regular performance reviews and have a system in place for warnings, write-ups and other disciplinary measures, it can help you show that your decision to let an employee go was based on their performance at work alone —  not their gender, race or anything else.

If you’re facing a wrongful termination and discrimination claim, get help

Employment issues focusing on allegations of discrimination and wrongful termination are often very complex. Make sure you know exactly what steps to take to protect your future and your business by working closely with an experienced lawyer. 

Column Image

“I used the Bryan E. Kuhn, Counselor at Law, P.C. team to help me with a case. They were always professional, upfront, and positive providing guidance while keeping me informed.”
– L.H.

“Everyone at the firm was professional, responsive and courteous. I would definitely recommend this firm if you are in need of superior legal assistance.”
– J.S.

“Bryan and his law firm operate with great professionalism and personal touch. I appreciated the way he and his team offered transparent communication.”
– N.S.

“The team was very professional in helping me to get through an uncomfortable ADA situation at my workplace. This was a very good legal experience. I would recommend Bryan E. Kuhn & team to anyone who needs work related legal help.”
– D.L.

“Bryan, Katie, and all the staff in this office are super fast to respond, expert in their fields, and always helpful. We have been extremely pleased with their services for our small business.”
– T.Z.

Column Image


Bg Subscribe
Contact Our Firm

Office Location

Bryan E. Kuhn, Counselor at Law, P.C.
1660 Lincoln Street Suite 2330
Denver, CO 80264

Local: 303-424-4286
Toll Free: 866-693-5541
Fax: 303-425-4013
Denver Law Office Map
FindLaw Network
Click for the BBB Business Review of this Attorneys & Lawyers - Employment Litigation in Denver CO