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What should I know about wrongful termination in CO?

Business owners in Colorado must adhere to the letter of the law when it comes to the treatment of employees. This is especially true when it comes to termination, which can spur a lawsuit if not handled correctly. To this end, business owners must remain fully apprised of the legalities surrounding termination to ensure they remain in compliance.

According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, the state adheres to employment-at-will regulations. That means that employers are free to terminate a worker’s employment at any time without being required to provide a reason. These laws were designed to allow both workers and employers greater flexibility when it comes to securing a suitable position or candidate. While these laws give employers the ability to fire workers at will, there are exceptions to the doctrine.

For instance, an existing contract between a worker and employer will void the employment-at-will doctrine. In this case, an employer must adhere to the terms of an agreement or potentially face a wrongful termination lawsuit. Contracts can be written or merely implied, which entails certain rules being applied to other workers regarding the scope of one’s employment.

Other reasons for termination are also considered unacceptable according to employment law. Protected workers cannot be fired for reasons deemed discriminatory, such as those related to religious belief, nation of origin, race, and many other areas. Employees also cannot be discharged for doing things that are considered acceptable to the public. This includes making a worker’s compensation claim, initiating a lawsuit or pointing out wrongdoing within the company. 

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