Colorado retaliation laws prohibit employers from taking adverse action against an employee for exercising a legal right at work. When an employer retaliates against a Colorado employee in violation of a federal or Colorado labor law or employment law the employee generally has remedies under the applicable law. These remedies may vary and each labor and employment law contains its own remedial provisions. If you believe your employer retaliated against you then you should contact Denver employment lawyers right away.
Retaliation claims in Colorado
Federal and Colorado labor and employment laws often prohibit employers from retaliating against employees for taking specific acts under these laws. An employee is not automatically protected from all adverse employment acts by the employer by virtue of exercising a protected right. The employer violates Colorado retaliation laws when it takes an adverse employment action because the employer exercised a protected right.
Further, any adverse employment action motivated by any reason not prohibited by law generally will not create a retaliation claim. An employer might retaliate because the employee did something and not create a retaliation claim if the employee’s act is not protected by law. It is common for people to mistakenly believe that any retaliatory act by an employer creates a claim. This is incorrect. A retaliation claim only arises because the employer’s retaliation was motivated by the employee’s protected act.
Colorado retaliation laws and protected activities
Retaliation claims may arise from protected activities under one or more statute or common law claim. Protected activities arise under specific statutes and common law claims under federal and Colorado law. It is important to look closely at the basis for the protected activity and how those activities are protected from retaliation. Some examples of retaliation claims include:
- Reporting employment discrimination in the workplace, such as harassment, that occurred to another employee
- Complaining about employment discrimination that happened to you
- Participating in an employment discrimination investigation or proceeding
- Complaining about unpaid wages or overtime pay
- Taking leave under the FMLA or Colorado FMLA
- Filing a claim under an employee benefit plan in which the employee participates
- Filing a workers compensation claim
- Requesting a reasonable accommodation to a disability or sincere religious practice
- Reporting a workplace safety issue under OSHA
- Requesting time off as a servicemember for service duty
- Cooperating with coworkers to improve workplace conditions
- Joining a union or campaigning in a union election
Many other retaliation claims exist under federal and Colorado retaliation laws. If you believe your employer may have retaliated against you for taking a protected activity then you should contact Denver employment lawyers right away to discuss your situation. Many workplace laws require you to take specific acts in limited time periods to preserve your case. Do not delay consulting with an employment law attorney.