Every day millions of people go to work. They work to earn a living, to pay their bills, to take care of their loved ones, and to save for the future. In return for the salary that they earn, they provide their employers with the skills, experience, and hard work that it takes to turn a profit in the business world. It’s supposed to be a win/win situation, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.
Let’s face it. Employees get treated unfairly all the time. Promised promotions don’t happen. Job duties increase or change without a corresponding raise in pay. People get fired or laid off without any warning. While this kind of treatment is despicable, it isn’t always illegal. You see, Colorado is an at-will employment jurisdiction. Either an employer or an employee can end an employment relationship at any time and for any reason not prohibited by law.
So, while an employer is entirely within their rights to treat an employee arbitrarily, they do so at their own risk. A dissatisfied employee is perfectly free to walk away from a job in order to take advantage of a better opportunity. It’s a self-regulating system. A chronically unfair employer will ultimately hurt their bottom line by losing good employees to the competition.
However, sometimes employer unfairness rises to the level of illegality. That’s where we come in. Here at Marathon Law, we’re experts at using federal and Colorado employment law to protect our clients from illegal employment practices including:
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and Colorado law, it is illegal to discriminate in the hiring, promotion, discharge, pay, fringe benefits, job training, classification, referral, and other aspects of employment on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, or ancestry. It also is illegal to retaliate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit.
Under the Family Medical Leave Act covered employers must allow employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave during a defined 12-month period for specified family and medical reasons.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Colorado Wage Act, and the Colorado Minimum Wage Order, employers must pay employees a specific minimum wage, as well as overtime, in a timely and regular manner.
Although Colorado is an at-will employment state, under the above laws, termination for reporting discrimination or participating in an investigation into discrimination is wrongful.
Just as termination is illegal under the above circumstances, so too is retaliating against an employee for reporting discrimination or for participating in an investigation into discrimination.
It is also illegal to harass an employee due to their protected class under the law. In order to be actionable, the conduct must be pervasive enough to create an environment that a reasonable person would consider hostile, intimidating or abusive. Petty incidents and annoyances are usually not considered illegal.
If there is an express or implied employment contract between the employer and employee that specifies the circumstances and procedures that surround termination, and those circumstances do not exist, or those procedures were not followed, the termination is also wrongful.
We understand how important your job is to you and how terrifying it is to face the prospect of losing that job because of someone else’s illegal actions. We use our knowledge and experience in employment law to make sure that your employer or former employer is held accountable for what they did to you. Furthermore, we use the law to see that they take every step necessary to make you whole again, including, where applicable:
It should be noted that a Claim of Discrimination must be filed with either the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) in order to preserve your right to proceed against your employer in court. In addition, the Claim of Discrimination must be filed within very specific time frames – 300 days from the discriminatory act for the EEOC and 180 days from the discriminatory act for the CCRD. A failure to file a Claim of Discrimination within these time frames will result in a loss of the right to pursue a discrimination claim under Title VII or Colorado law.
Employment laws are complex, and employers will try to fight an employment law claim any way they can. That’s why you need an expert employment law attorney in your corner, like those at Marathon Law, pushing back against the employer and fighting for your rights and your future. Get the results that you need and deserve. Contact us for a free, confidential consultation at 303-963-9331, or via our website contact page.