Legal Counsel for Colorado Employees

At-Will Employment and Exceptions

Colorado is an “at-will” employment state, which means that either the employer or the employee may terminate the relationship at any time, without notice and for any reason, except those specifically prohibited by law or contract. Nevertheless, there are various exceptions to the employment “at-will” doctrine that may permit a successful recovery by an employee against the employer for a wrongful termination. Nathan Davidovich is experienced in plaintiff’s work for employees and defense work for employers. He has had extensive experience in resolving employment related disputes from all of these vantage points through settlement negotiations, administrative processes, and litigation, trials, and appeals in state and federal court. While the courts are very restrictive as to the types of claims that employees can bring against their employers, he has been successful in resolving all of the following types of claims to the satisfaction of his clients:

  • Discrimination
  • Sexual Harrasment
  • Wrongful Termination/Breach of Contract
  • Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy
  • Retaliation for Whistle Blowing
  • Failure of Employer to pay Minimum Wage or Overtime
  • Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Disputes or Denial
  • Interference with Employee Benefits (ERISA)
  • Discrimination Based on Military Status (USERRA)
  • Negligent Hiring, Supervision and Retention


State, federal and local law prohibits discrimination against employees or potential employees on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, age or disability. If you think your employer has discriminated against you it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. The statute of limitations is very short and you could lose your claim if you do not file quickly. Attorney fees are awarded to plaintiffs who are successful in court. Nathan Davidovich won a jury verdict in one of the few successful and particularly challenging type of cases involving discrimination by a female against a male. In addition, he has successfully resolved to the client’s satisfaction, through settlement or trial, numerous cases involving sex, race, disability, age, religion and national origin discrimination.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is an abuse of an employer’s power. There are two types of sexual harassment. Quid pro quo harassment is when an employer requires an employee to perform sexual favors as a condition of employment. A sexually hostile work environment occurs when an employer maintains an environment where offensive conduct of a sexual nature is tolerated or encouraged, and makes others feel uncomfortable. Such conduct as dirty jokes, lewd comments, groping and physical assault may create a sexually hostile environment if it is severe, pervasive and unwelcome. A hostile work environment may also occur on the basis of race, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, disability or age. The statute of limitations is very short and you could lose your claim if you do not file quickly. Plaintiffs who are successful in court are entitled to recover attorney fees. One of the many hostile work environment cases Nathan Davidovich has resolved, to the benefit of his clients, involved a female police officer who was sexually harassed by her supervisors and coworkers. His client was delighted both with the amount that she received through the confidential settlement he negotiated with the police department, as well as the avoidance of the necessity for prolonged litigation, with all of the time and expense inherent in such a process. Whenever possible, he attempts to settle all claims, including hostile work environment claims before trial. However, Nathan Davidovich’s extensive trial and appellate experience demonstrate that he is always ready to go the extra mile to advocate for his clients’ best interest, either during the negotiation process or in trial.

Unemployment Insurance Claims

Unemployment Insurance in Colorado is a program to pay temporary benefits and help workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own, while they try and obtain employment. Following an initial decision by a Deputy, denying benefits, the employee has a right to appeal and have a new hearing before a hearing officer. While there is no requirement that an employee must have a lawyer present at the hearing, the playing field can be leveled against the employer, who may appear with its counsel, by the employee retaining the services of a lawyer. Nathan Davidovich is experienced in representing both employees and employers during the appeal hearing process. The hearing is conducted by a hearing officer, who takes testimony under oath from the parties and witnesses who participate in the hearing.

Wrongful Termination / Breach of Contract

Contract type claims may be shown in a number of ways, including proof of the failure to follow any mandatory provisions of an employee handbook or other employee policies, or failure to respect promises that an employee justifiably relied upon. Nathan Davidovich obtained a judgment of $800,000 in a wrongful termination/breach of contract case against an employer. His extensive experience in both drafting and litigating employment related contracts, handbooks and policies, places him in an excellent position to analyze the existence of, and to litigate breach of contract claims.

Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy

Despite the existence of the employment “at-will” relationship, there are some factual situations where the courts will impose legal liability on the employer in a situation where neither a contract nor discrimination existed. One of those exceptions is the public-policy exception to employment “at-will.” To assert a claim under this cause of action, the employer’s conduct complained about must concern behavior that impacts the public rather than just the private interests of the employee. Examples include requiring the employee to violate the law, or to cover up wrong-doing committed by the employer. If the employer then retaliates against the employee by termination or other adverse employment action, the employee may have a valid claim for wrongful discharge in violation of public policy. Nathan Davidovich has the expertise needed to properly analyze the facts to determine if the factual basis for such a claim exists and to aggressively pursue the interests of his clients.

Retaliation for Whistle Blowing

Retaliation for “whistle blowing” is a different type of Wrongful Discharge claim. It involves retaliation against an employee for exposing the improper and unlawful conduct of another employee or the employer, within the company hierarchy or outside of the company to, for example, law enforcement officials. Nathan Davidovich’s experience in all phases of the litigation process and in all aspects of employment litigation enables him to assertively pursue justice on behalf of his clients.

Failure of Employer to pay Minimum Wage or Overtime

Federal law requires that, with limited exceptions, employees be paid at a least minimum wage, as well as time-and-a-half for time worked over 40 hours per week. The exceptions generally fall within 3 categories of employees: Administrative, Professional and Managerial. Even if employees are paid a salary or are given a managerial title, they are still entitled to overtime pay unless their job duties and responsibilities fall within limited exceptions. In addition, in order to lawfully avoid paying overtime, employers are prohibited from making certain deductions. Employees who are successful on these wage claims in court are entitled to their attorney fees. Nathan Davidovich also has extensive experience in this area and is confident of his ability to effectively assert such claims against his clients’ employers.

Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Disputes or Denial

The FMLA generally requires employers with at least 50 employees to allow their employees up to twelve weeks of annual leave to care for the employee’s or a family member’s “serious health condition.” Upon return from FMLA leave, an employee is entitled to keep his/her previous employment position or be given an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits and other conditions of employment. An employer is prohibited from interfering with or denying FMLA leave to a qualified employee. It is also unlawful to discharge or discriminate against an employee for the exercise of FMLA rights. Attorney fees may be awarded to plaintiffs who successfully assert FMLA claims in court. Nathan Davidovich successfully negotiated confidential settlement agreements before suit was even filed, where the FMLA rights of employees had been violated. The employees received substantially greater settlements than they had hoped to recover. Nathan Davidovich’s experience and expertise make him unquestionably qualified to effectively pursue such claims on behalf of his clients.

Interference with Employee Benefits (ERISA)

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) makes it unlawful for an employer to discharge or discriminate against an employee for exercising any right to which he is entitled under the provisions of an employee benefit plan or to interfere with obtaining benefits to which he is entitled under the plan. Plaintiffs who successfully assert ERISA claims in trial may be granted attorney fees by the court. Nathan Davidovich obtained over $200,000, including attorney fees, for interference with ERISA rights against an employer that terminated his client while he was receiving disability benefits. He then successfully defended an appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals which affirmed the judgment for his client.Nathan Davidovich’s experience with ERISA, and other employment-related claims makes him uniquely qualified to obtain a just resolution for his clients.

Discrimination Based on Military Status (USERRA)

The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) prohibits discrimination against members and veterans of the military on the basis of their military service and attempts to minimize the disadvantages to their civilian careers as a result of such service. A violation of USERRA occurs even when an employee’s exercise of military leave rights is just “a motivating factor” in the employer’s action. In other words, if military service is just one of several motivating factors for an adverse employment action, the employee still has a claim against the employer. Plaintiffs who successfully assert such claims in court are entitled to reasonable attorney fees. The extensive experience, expertise, and success of Nathan Davidovich assures that he has what it takes to tackle any valid claim on his clients’ behalf.

Extreme and Outrageous Conduct

Unreasonable or even unlawful termination is not, in itself, outrageous enough to justify a claim for extreme and outrageous conduct. However, there are times when the manner of termination or the employer’s conduct otherwise is so outrageous in character and so extreme in degree that a reasonable person would consider the conduct atrocious and going beyond all bounds of decency in a civilized society. It is under these circumstances that a claim for outrageous conduct will arise. An example of such a case is where an employer who, among other things, terminated a disabled employee on Christmas Eve, and then smirked, “have a nice Christmas” as the employee went home to his family with the tragic news. The confidential resolution of that case was considerably greater than the employee had initially hoped. Nathan Davidovich is uniquely qualified to tenaciously pursue any such employment related claims on his clients’ behalf.

Negligent Hiring, Supervision and Retention

Employers have a duty to act as a reasonable employer would in hiring, retaining and supervising employees in a manner to prevent their employees from harming other employees or members of the public. Negligent hiring, supervision and retention claims arise if an employer fails in this duty. Nathan Davidovich has asserted such claims against an employer that was previously warned that its manager was sexually harassing his secretary and otherwise acting in an out of control manner, but refused to take action to prevent it. The manager then went on to more serious and pervasive harassment. The claim of negligent supervision and retention was made in addition to claims for sexual harassment discrimination. Nathan Davidovich is uniquely qualified to tenaciously pursue any such employment related claims on his clients’ behalf.

Review of Employment Agreements, Confidential Trade Secret and Non-Compete Agreements

It is always surprising to see how frequently employees sign employment agreements with no understanding of what the ramifications to their future lives and future careers can be. At the outset of new employment, employees understandably tend to trust that their new employers will treat them fairly and reasonably. However, some of these agreements can greatly restrict employees’ ability to continue to pursue their career, use the knowledge that they have gained through their experience, or benefit from the many contacts which they themselves have cultivated through their own hard work. Nathan Davidovich prides himself in his ability to foresee difficulties that may arise from employment related contracts and advise employees on ways to reframe contractual provisions so that both the employees and employers can achieve their goals.

Severance Agreements

There are times when an Employer, instead of facing court action, will find it less expensive to negotiate a severance package. Likewise, an employee may find it advantageous to negotiate for a favorable severance package and receive immediate benefits rather than dealing with the uncertainty and time delay of litigation. There are many factors to be considered in drafting such an agreement, including the terms, taxability, confidentiality and non-compete provisions. Nathan Davidovich’s expertise and extensive experience in negotiating agreements place him in an excellent position to negotiate the terms of severance packages that achieve the goals of his clients.

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