Denver Attorney News
What are My Rights When Working as an At-Will Employee? | Denver Employment Law
In Colorado if you're an at-will employee that means that in general you can be terminated for any reason or no reason by your employer at any time. Conversely, you can quit your job for any reason or no reason at any time. However, just because you're at will doesn't mean you don't have employment rights under both state or federal law. The basic rule is even if you're an at-will employee you can be terminated for no reason, for a dumb reason, or for cause, except that you can't be terminated for a reason that violates state or federal anti-discrimination laws.
You can't be terminated if the motivation for the termination is not your at-will status or that your job performance was insufficient, but because they're discriminating against you on the basis of your disability or race or, under Colorado law, sexual orientation ... There's a variety of different what we call protected categories of people. You can't be discriminated against or terminated on the basis of sexual harassment or sexual discrimination or racial discrimination. Even if you are an at-will employee, that doesn't mean you have no rights.
If you are at-will and you've been terminated and believe that you've been discriminated against, it's still really important for you to talk to a lawyer who has experience in the employment law to assess the individual facts of your case to say, "Hey, even though you're at-will and most of the time your employer could just say, 'I'm sorry, you're fired,' there's a complicated set of state and federal laws which still really protect you and really prohibit an employee even in an at-will context from doing things which discriminate against you on the basis of your gender or your religious beliefs, or a variety of other areas that are covered by these anti discrimination laws."
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