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When Can I Hold an Employer Liable for Wrongful Termination in Colorado?

Before assuming you are a victim of wrongful termination you need to first determine if you were wrongfully terminated. Many employees often assume after being fired that their employer did not abide by their state’s labor laws when they actually did. In this article, we are going to explore when an employer can let an employee go without being found guilty of wrongful termination as well as when an employee can file a complaint against an employer who failed to follow the standard protocol required of them when terminating an employee.


Understanding Colorado’s Employment-At-Will Doctrine


wrongful termination attorneys in Denver, CO

Did you know that most employees are considered at-will employees? If you fall into this category, then your employer can fire you at any given time and without providing you with adequate notice.

The State of Colorado follows what is recognized as the employment-at-will doctrine. This means that “in the absence of a contract to the contrary, neither an employer nor an employee is required to give notice or advance notice of termination or resignation. Additionally, neither an employer nor an employee is required to give a reason for the separation from employment” [Source: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment]. Essentially, what this means is that unless your employer and you signed a contract that promised you job security, and even then there may be some exceptions, he or she can terminate you at any time without giving you any sort of notice.

Is it fair? Although many may not think it is, the CO Department of Labor and Employment says that the doctrine “allows employees to seek out the position best suited for their talents and allows employers to seek out the best employees for their needs.” So, what does this all mean? Well, under most circumstances, when an employer fires an employee out of the blue, they generally cannot be held liable for wrongful termination.


Are there exceptions to the employment-at-will doctrine?


There are exceptions to Colorado’s employment-at-will doctrine. While an employer has the right to fire an at-will employee, which is how most employees are classified, an employer cannot fire you when:


  1. The termination comes in the form of discrimination. “It is discriminatory to discharge an employee based upon disability, race, creed, color, gender, age, religion, gender orientation, national origin, and ancestry.” If your employer fired you and you suspect that you were terminated because of your race, gender, etc., then you may have a claim against your employer for wrongful termination. While you can report the discriminatory act to the Colorado Civil Rights Commission at (303-894-2997) or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at (303-866-1300, you should definitely contact a wrongful termination lawyer in Denver, CO.


  1. The termination is a violation of public policy. For instance, if your employer fired you for filing a workers compensation claim or refusing to commit perjury, he or she would be guilty of wrongful termination.


  1. The termination violates the contract agreement you and your employer agreed to.


Labor and employment lawyers in Denver, CO

If you believe you are a victim of wrongful termination, contact the lawyers at Anderson Barkley, LLC located in Denver to see how they can help you.

If you believe you have a legitimate claim against your employer for wrongfully terminating you and you live in Denver, CO, it would be in your best interest to contact Anderson Barkley, LLC to speak with a skilled CO wrongful termination lawyer near you. Not only can the attorneys at this firm help you recognize your employer for violating state labor laws, but they may be able to help you recover lost funds, compensation for mental anguish, etc. from your employer.


Anderson Barkley, LLC is located at:


3900 E. Mexico Ave., Suite 300
Denver, CO 80210

Phone: 720-506-1764