Employment Discrimination and Discharge
Larson & Larimer offers attorneys who are knowledgeable about Colorado and Federal laws that protect Colorado workers from discrimination in the workplace and employer retaliation that may result. If you believe that you have encountered on-the-job discrimination in any of the following forms, please contact us today so that we may determine whether you have a potential claim. As with wage and hour violations, employment discrimination claims involve many filing deadlines. Please do not wait to schedule an immediate free consultation.
Workplace Discrimination Based Upon Race, National Origin, Gender, Sexual Orientation, Religion, and Marriage to a Co-Worker
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 most notably protects employees and prospective employees from workplace discrimination in hiring, promotion, classification, payment, awarding of fringe benefits, job training, discharge, and referral when based upon the employee’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Similarly, Colorado law prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on their membership in a “protected class.” These classes include race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, creed, marriage to a co-worker, or sexual orientation.
The Americans with Disability Act (ADA) and Colorado law prevent discrimination against individuals with physical and mental disabilities in a number of areas, including employment. These laws apply to private employers, local and state government agencies, employment agencies, and labor organizations and require them to make reasonable accommodations for qualified employees.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects employees and applicants who are forty or older from age-based discrimination in the workplace. The ADEA applies to private employers with twenty or more employees, employment agencies, labor organizations, and local, state, and federal government entities.
Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
FMLA allows certain employees to take unpaid leave for identified family and medical purposes with job protection and continued group health insurance coverage. FMLA provides that eligible employees are entitled to twelve workweeks of leave within a twelve month period for the birth and care of a newborn within one year of the child’s birth, the care of a newly adopted or fostered child within one year of the child’s placement, and the care of a spouse, parent, or child with a serious illness. An employee may also take time if he/she develops a serious health condition that renders him/her unable to perform essential employment duties. Employees may also be entitled to take military caregiver leave for a period of twenty-six workweeks in one year if their spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin is a service member who develops a serious illness or injury.
The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is an amendment to the Civil Rights Act that prohibits workplace discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions. The courts have held that these types of discrimination constitute sex discrimination and are illegal. The PDA applies to private employers with fifteen or more employees, employment agencies, labor organizations, and local, state, and federal government entities.
It is unlawful for employers to retaliate against job applicants and employees because they have filed a charge of discrimination, complained to their employer about workplace discrimination, or participated in an investigation, lawsuit, or other employment discrimination proceeding. The law protects employees from retaliation in all aspects of employment. For example, employers are prohibited from firing, refusing to promote, demoting, or harassing an employee or applicant for one of the above reasons.
In Colorado, employers may discharge employees “at will” and therefore do not need just cause for any termination. Even so, employers are nonetheless prohibited from firing workers on some prohibited basis. Wrongful termination occurs when an employer dismisses an employee in violation of a valid employment contract, the law, or the federal or State Constitution. Illegal bases for firing employees include employee membership in a protected class, an employee’s exposure of his/her employer’s illegal activity (“whistleblowing”), and an employee’s refusal to break the law at the employer’s request.
Contact Larson & Larimer, P.C. today at 303-221-0039 for all of your Denver, CO legal needs.