EMPLOYMENT LAW ATTORNEYS
In a legal context, wrongful termination means firing an employee for an illegal reason. Although Colorado is an at-will employment state, it is still unlawful to terminate an employee for certain protected reasons, including reporting harassment and discrimination.
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What Does an Employment Law Attorney Do?
An employment law attorney represents employees who may have various legal issues with their employer. They see the case from the employee’s perspective and advocate to protect their rights. Wrongful termination cases can be complicated, and evidence of discrimination and retaliation is often circumstantial. Our attorneys will consider the facts and seek information that tends to prove that your termination was unlawful. We will evaluate documentation, look for differential treatment, and any evidence that you were unlawfully terminated for reporting harassment and discrimination.
Our Colorado lawyers for employment law do several things on behalf of our clients, including:
- Explaining your rights – Before doing anything, a worker needs to understand their rights. An employment law attorney explains the law so that the worker knows their legal options.
- Filing complaints and enforcement actions – Some employment rights may be enforced by making a complaint to the appropriate entity. For example, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) may investigate some types of employment discrimination. An attorney assists their client to file an effective charge and know what to expect from the process.
- Litigation – When a worker’s rights have been violated, an attorney may assist them in filing the appropriate litigation. Most often, the victim seeks monetary compensation for the damages they have suffered because of the unlawful action against them.
- Compliance – Employers have a large body of laws and regulations to comply with when they hire and employ workers. An employment attorney can work with a company to ensure compliance with the myriad of laws that apply in the workplace.
What Does Employment Law Cover?
When we talk about employment law, this practice area covers a wide range of topics and issues that employees may experience. Remember, employees have rights in the workplace. When treated unfairly, you may have an employment law claim based on any of the following:
- Employment Contracts – When an employment contract exists, the employer must follow it. If they terminate employment in violation of an agreement, the worker may claim damages, including lost wages.
- Discrimination – An employer may not discriminate in the hiring, promotion, management, or termination of employees based on a protected class. There are many protected classes, including race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, national origin, age, and disability. Discrimination claims often come down to complex facts and witness testimony. An experienced attorney can effectively question witnesses and build the evidence to prove employment discrimination.
- Harassment – Like discrimination, a worker has the right to be free of harassment in the workplace, including sexual harassment. If you are the victim of harassment or a hostile work environment, you may take legal action.
- Retaliation – A worker has the right to fair treatment by their employer. They have the right to take advantage of employee programs like workers’ compensation and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). If there is an investigation into unfair employment practices, a worker may cooperate without fear of retaliation. It is unlawful for an employer to retaliate against a worker for exercising their employment rights.
- Wage and Hour Disputes – If your employer is not paying you what is due, you may have a claim under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or the Colorado Wage Act. If you are owed straight time or overtime pay, you may be entitled to more than just reimbursement for back wages. You may also be entitled to monetary penalties, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs.
Employers and employees are required to treat other workers fairly, equally, and with respect. When they fail to do this, employees may qualify to file a work-related lawsuit for compensation.
What Is Wrongful Termination?
Even though Colorado is an at-will state, which means that an employer can hire, fire, promote, demote, or discipline employees for almost any reason they see fit. That doesn’t mean an employer can fire an employee for any reason or that you are without protection. These are laws that prevent firing for reasons based on discrimination against a protected class, retaliation, and for reporting illegal acts in good faith. Our wrongful termination attorneys can help determine if you have a case and what you might claim in compensation for unfair firing.
What Are Examples of Workplace Discrimination?
Employers cannot discriminate based on a protected class. Some examples of workplace discrimination include:
- Only workers of a specific gender have customer-facing positions.
- An employer asks about an applicant’s children and refuses to hire women with children.
- Certain employees are passed over for a promotion because of their race or national origin.
- When an employee contracts a medical condition and disability, they need to sit down for more extended periods during the day. Although this is a reasonable accommodation, the employer refuses to allow it.
- An employee is made to endure inappropriate comments of a sexual nature. When the employee brings the issue to management’s attention, they ignore the issue and later demote the employee.
- When an employee gets fired, the firing is a pretext because the employee is pregnant.
- Employees of a certain gender receive higher pay.
Workplace discrimination can take many forms. Of course, the employer is unlikely to admit that they’re guilty of discrimination. Investigating the situation can be difficult, but is necessary to get employment records and interview workers. Unfortunately, other employees may not always cooperate with an investigation.
Our experienced Colorado employment discrimination attorneys can help you build your wrongful termination claim or other work-related lawsuit and determine the appropriate remedy.
What Are Wage And Hour Laws?
The Federal Labor Standards Act outlines the requirements that employers must meet regarding wages and hours. In addition, states have passed their own labor laws and related orders, such as the Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards order (COMPS or Order #37)
The Colorado Wage Act (C.R.S. § 8-4-101) – addresses factors such as bonuses, commissions, deductions from wages, pay periods, and pay statements. The Act requires Colorado employers to pay workers their earned wages in a timely manner.
The Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, requires employers to include compensation for all positions in job postings. It also requires that they notify all employees of promotional opportunities as well as keep job description and wage rate records on file.
Our experienced Colorado employment law attorneys can evaluate your situation and explain how the law applies to you. If your employer has violated state or federal wage and hour laws, we can fight for your rights and the compensation you deserve.
What Are Laws that Protect Employees?
Federal law protects employees from unfair treatment, including:
- The Americans with Disabilities Act
- Title VII of The Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Family Medical Leave Act
- Pregnancy Discrimination Act
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
In addition, Colorado state laws like Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Act, minimum wage and overtime laws, jury leave requirements, unemployment laws, nursing mother breaks, termination in violation of public policy, and pay for hours worked are just some of the many laws that protect workers in Colorado.
- Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a form of employment discrimination that is prohibited under both federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and state laws. It occurs when an employee is harassed due to his or her sex, and it can include touching, groping, memes, insults, jokes, assault, off-color remarks, and more. Sexual harassment may take the form of quid pro quo harassment, in which an authority figure within the workplace conditions employment on submission to sexual overtures. However, it can also take the form of hostile work environment harassment, which occurs when harassment is so severe or so pervasive that it changes the terms and conditions of employment.
Other Types Of Wrongful Termination
Aside from discrimination and retaliation, there are other situations in which the termination of an employee may not be legal.
Express or implied contract: A termination may be deemed wrongful if an employee can show that an express or implied contract existed with the company. An implied contract or promise would prevent the employer from firing the employee without cause. Examples include employers, making promises of job security or other representations during or after being hired, or if such assurances were outlined in the company manual.
How Can an Employment Law Attorney Help?
Employment law claims are inherently complex. It can seem like your employer is so big and powerful, and you don’t stand a chance of getting justice. However, working with an experienced labor lawyer helps level the playing field.
With so many laws that apply in the workplace and with claims being complicated, an employment law firm helps you understand and enforce your rights. They guide you through the process so that your case is an empowering experience that results in justice for you.
Free Consultation – Colorado Employment Law Attorneys
Your case begins with a free consultation with our legal team, which includes experienced employment law attorneys. Short deadlines may apply, so don’t wait to contact us about your potential case. We are conveniently located at 5 Colorado locations near you in Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Aurora, and Englewood. Our employment law attorneys are ready to serve you and fight for the compensation you deserve.
Visit our Denver Office
101 W Colfax Ave, Suite 650
Denver, CO 80202
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