What To Do if You Recently Lost Your Job in Colorado

employment law book with justice gavel on top

Employment is vital because your work provides financial security. Many people get a sense of purpose from their careers and their job structures their daily routine. As of 2021, over 54% of Americans also relied on their work for health insurance benefits. 

People may face financial hardships and struggle with mental health issues if they lose their jobs. Understanding your options can help you develop a game plan after a job loss. Let’s look at what you need to know about unemployment options in Colorado and what you should do if you recently lost your job.

What options do you have if you become unemployed in Colorado?

People lose their jobs every day. Sometimes, layoffs stem from economic factors. People may lose their job if their place of work closes or the company needs to cut costs due to declining sales. It’s also possible to lose your job for cause, which could involve failing to meet employer expectations. For example, failing to arrive at work on time may lead to disciplinary action and dismissal.

Employees may also lose their jobs for unjust reasons, such as racism or sexism. Employers may also terminate employees without cause to hire a friend or family member. 

You can explore these options if you lose your job in Colorado:

  • File for unemployment
  • Find suitable work
  • Return to school
  • Take time off
  • File a lawsuit against your former employer

You may not qualify for every option, and your course of action may depend on your financial situation or the current job market.

Who qualifies for unemployment benefits? 

person filling out unemployment benefits application form

You may qualify to receive unemployment benefit payments if you lose your job. You must meet the eligibility requirements for unemployment benefits in Colorado to have your claim approved. Eligibility requirements include:

  • Having worked as a traditional employee
  • Having had taxes deducted from your paychecks
  • Having earned at least $2,500 during the designated 12-month window
  • Being unemployed or working less than 32 hours per week and earning less than the weekly benefit amount

There are other conditions you must meet when applying for unemployment benefits. While you can file a claim if you quit your job, you must demonstrate that you had a compelling reason to give notice. 

Being fired doesn’t automatically disqualify you from receiving unemployment benefits. The reason for being fired determines eligibility. Employees fired for gross misconduct do not qualify.

Unemployment applicants must fulfill certain expectations when they file a claim. Applicants must:

What happens if your claim is denied?

You can file an appeal if your unemployment application is denied. Appeals are subject to a time limit, which begins the day they mail notice of their decision. You have 20 days from that date to file an appeal. It typically takes between 28 and 42 days to receive a decision about your appeal.

What resources can you use to find a job in Colorado?

In 1998, the federal government launched the Workforce Investment Act, which became the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) in 2014. As part of WIOA, the U.S. Department of Labor established workforce centers to assist people looking for work.

Your local workforce center helps people who’ve lost their jobs by supplying:

  • Career counseling
  • Training referrals
  • Job listings

Do you have a legal case if you didn’t leave your job voluntarily? 

Employment law governs how employers treat employees. You have the right to work for an employer that complies with these laws. You may have grounds to pursue a lawsuit against an employer who doesn’t comply with employment laws. Consult an employment law attorney to discuss your situation and determine if your employer is guilty of contract violations, workplace discrimination, harassment, or unfair employment practices. You may also have grounds to pursue a legal claim for unpaid wages. Unpaid wages stem from your employer failing to pay you for hours worked or failing to compensate you for overtime. 

How can a Colorado employment lawyer help?

lawyer guiding client who is filling out employment documents

Employment law lawyers are experts in employment law. Our employment law lawyers can determine if you have grounds to file an appeal for unemployment benefits. Our attorneys can also decide whether you qualify to seek compensation from your former employer for wrongful dismissal.

We offer a free consultation and take on cases on a contingency fee basis. This means you don’t have to worry about coming up with legal fees. We investigate your claim and prepare your case, and we won’t charge a cent until we win your case. 

For your convenience, we have several locations throughout Colorado. Our employment law attorneys in Denver, Colorado Springs, Englewood, and Fort Collins are available to answer your questions and take legal action to seek compensation. 


Eligibility and Work Search Requirements. (2022).

Pappas, S. (2020). The toll of job loss

Percentage of U.S. population with employment-based health insurance from 1987 to 2021. (2022).
Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act | U.S. Department of Labor. (2022).

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