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RobertJDFL, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 13905
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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I was just let go of my job, its a family owned business and

Customer Question

i was just let go of my job
JA: Because employment law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: its a family owned business and they kicked me out the door with no severance pay . i was with the company for almost 6 years as well. colorado
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: nothing yet i was unsure of what to do or feel?
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I mean it is a long long story
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  LegalKnowledge replied 5 months ago.
Good evening. Were you a contract employee?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No i was not
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 months ago.

Good evening,

Different expert here as I see you requested a new professional. Colorado is unfortunately (like the majority of states) an at will employment state. What this means is that unless an employee has an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement that may give you more rights, an employee can be terminated at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all. Doesn't matter if you did anything wrong or not, doesn't matter if you were a great employee with great reviews.

Even if you are an at-will employee, you still cannot be fired for reasons that are illegal under state and federal law. In these situations, the government has decided to make an exception to the general rule of at-will employment.

For example, if your employer is subject to federal and state laws prohibiting job discrimination (as all but the smallest employers are), you cannot be fired because of certain characteristics, such as your race, religion, or gender. Similarly, you cannot be fired because you have complained about illegal activity, about discrimination or harassment, or about health and safety violations in the workplace. And you cannot be fired for exercising a variety of legal rights, including the right to take family and medical leave, to take leave to serve in the military, or to take time off work to vote or serve on a jury.

It doesn't sound like from your facts that your employer terminated you for an unlawful reason. And while I can appreciate that what the employer did wasn't fair to you -legally speaking, as an at will employee you can be terminated at any time, and it does not appear to me that the employer did anything wrong here. I am sorry I cannot tell you otherwise.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Understood. couple things. There was a verbal agreement between me and the CEO for two weeks pay per year. I've been using the two weeks paid vacation for the last two years. they are not putting it on my last check and im unsure why? Is there because there is no written contract and they are just doing me really dirty.. ?? Also was i suppose to be on salary with the company only being about 18 to 20 people ?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I also haven't received my last pay check yet its been about 8 days
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 months ago.

There's no state or federal law that says an employer has to give you vacation pay. It generally is a matter of contract between the employer and the employee. So, they're likely being dirty and acting like there was never any agreement.

Generally, under Colorado Rev. Stat. Ann. § 8-4-109, an employer must immediately issue a final paycheck to a terminated employee, or within six (6) hours of the beginning of the next business day if the payroll office is closed. Additionally, if the payroll office is offsite, then the employer must issue the final paycheck to the terminated employee within twenty-four (24) hours of his or her termination. An employee who quits his or her job is not entitled to a final paycheck until the next regularly scheduled pay date.

If you were terminated, you should have received your paycheck. If you've requested again from them and still not received it, you could file a wage complaint with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment:

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
In the email it says" in light of this week and abandoning your post( which i did not) we will prepare your final check for pickup. abandonment is considered resignation in the state of colorado. we will call you to let you know when you can come in to collect your check and drop off your key."
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
34;thank you for your time with the company . we wish you the absolute best with your future endeavors. "
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 months ago.

Job abandonment generally occurs where an employee doesn't show up for their scheduled hours and then doesn't call in to the employer to tell them that they won't be in. Because they are saying you "resigned", Colorado law gives them until your next normal pay period to collect your check. They also are likely going to fight your unemployment by trying to claim that you resigned, and weren't terminated.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 months ago.

With respect to the vacation pay, you could file a wage complaint with the Department of Labor in Colorado --I would attach any kind of documentation you have to prove that you have been receiving this two weeks paid for several years (for example, pay stubs showing the payment on your check, or perhaps you have an email from the company discussing your vacation pay).

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
They actually said that they wouldn't fight it. I don't want to collect there unemployment. That's why i thinks its personal and isn't that considered fraud?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 5 months ago.

A company can have a mix of salaried and hourly employees, by the way. I don't think I answered that previously.

Even if it's personal -- it's not unlawful for them to terminate you because you are an at will employee. It would only be illegal if they terminated you for an unlawful reason, like because of your race, or religion. Plenty of employees are terminated because their bosses get a bug up their butts one day and decide they just don't want to deal with them anymore.

If they truly believe that you abandoned your job and want to argue that to unemployment they could. It's not unheard of though, in my experience, for an employer to tell an employee they won't fight the unemployment. I can't speak for what they are thinking or what their reasoning is, it wouldn't be fair to you for me to just try and guess why they aren't fighting it.