Denver Wrongful Termination Lawyer
All 50 states except Montana are formally considered “at-will” employment states, which provides employers and employees the freedom to leave the working relationship at any time and for any reason, so long as it is not an illegal cause. At-will employment allows employers to terminate their employees without giving them a warning or reason for doing so, as long as the reason is not against the law. Likewise, employees may leave the position without giving their employers a reason. This arrangement works fairly well until the moment an employer terminates an employee on illegal grounds.
Employers in Denver don’t always abide by state and federal laws that protect workers. There are many illegitimate reasons an employer may fire or dismiss an employee that may give way to a wrongful termination claim. If your employer recently terminated your employment, discuss the possibility of a wrongful termination claim with a qualified Denver wrongful termination lawyer.
Substantiating a Wrongful Termination Claim
Wrongful termination claims arise when employers violate state and federal laws that protect employees. Many times, a wrongful termination is a retaliatory act an employer takes against an employee after the employee engaged in whistleblowing or exercising another protected right such as filing a worker’s compensation claim or voting.
A person who wishes to file a lawsuit against his employer for wrongful termination must receive a “right to sue” letter from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, Civil Rights Division. A valid wrongful termination claim must consist of three elements to succeed:
- The employee who files the lawsuit (the Plaintiff) must have been employed by the employer (the Defendant)
- The Defendant must have discharged the Plaintiff
- The Plaintiff must have been discharged for exercising a job-related right or privilege to which he or she was entitled.
Employers in Colorado may not discriminate against employees by firing them on the basis of race, age, religion, national origin or ethnicity, pregnancy, sex or gender, or disability. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees against discrimination on these bases, while the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act provides additional protections for members of the LGBTQ community.
When Might I Have Grounds for a Wrongful Termination Claim?
At-will employment places the freedom of employers and employees to terminate a working relationship at any time above job security. Without a reason for being terminated, many employees may not be able to recognize an illegal termination. The following scenarios illustrate actions that may support a wrongful termination claim:
- An employer firing an employee because of her race, religious beliefs, age, national origin, pregnancy, sexual orientation, or disability.
- An employer firing an employee who blew the whistle on illegal or unethical behavior in the workplace, filing a worker’s compensation claim, or requesting FMLA leave.
- An employer firing an employee who exercised his or her legal right to vote or attend jury duty.
- An employer fired an employee for refusing to break the law.
- An employer fired an employee who was subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace.
Violation of Public Policy
At-will employment states typically have exceptions for wrongful termination. In addition to being prohibited from firing employees on illegal grounds like discrimination, employers in Colorado may not fire employees for reasons that go against public policy. A viable wrongful termination lawsuit based on the violation of public policy must contain three basic elements:
- The Defendant (employer) employed the Plaintiff (employee)
- The Defendant fired the Plaintiff
- The termination violated public policy
Public policy may be understood as something that is illegal, dangerous, or which undermines an individual’s rights.
Contact a Nearby Wrongful Termination Lawyer in Denver, CO
Proving wrongful termination may be a complex task due to at-will employment statutes that protect the interests of employers. If you believe you may have been terminated from your position for a reason that violates federal and/or state laws, contact attorney Nathan Davidovich of Davidovich Law Firm, LLC. Nathan holds over 55 years of experience providing excellent and competent representation for Denver employees. Depending on your case, you may be entitled to monetary damages.
Call (303) 825-5529 or complete our contact form to learn more about how the Davidovich Law Firm, LLC can be an asset to your case.