Colorado is an at-will employment state meaning that barring a contract stipulating otherwise, an employer or employee can terminate the employment without notice. While this can be difficult and uncomfortable, the law is clear about it. Still, there can be disputes after the employee has been fired. A common catalyst for disagreement is an employee claiming he or she did not get the wages owed or was subjected to deductions that violated the law. If this is suspected, it is imperative to have guidance with how to proceed.
Key points of wages and compensation after being terminated
When an employee has been fired, it is vital to be aware of how wages and compensation are paid and the template for which deductions are taken. The worker is required to immediately receive all forms of compensation owed except in certain situations. Those situations include the scheduling of paying wages and the location of the accounting unit being separate from the work site.
If, for example, the accounting unit will not be in operation over a weekend, then the employee will need to be paid within six hours of the next day it is operating. When it is off the work site, the employee must be paid within 24 hours after the next scheduled workday at the work site, the employer’s office or by being sent to the employee’s last known mailing address.
In some jobs, an employee is given equipment or items that are needed to perform the job. A work computer is an example. A fired employee who is asked to return it will be expected to do so or face the possibility that its value will be deducted from their final paycheck. The employer has 10 calendar days following the dismissal to calculate the value and make the necessary adjustments before paying the final wages and compensation.
Getting what is owed and avoiding unfair deductions may require professional help
In some instances, firing an employee is simply a matter of circumstance. It could be due to downsizing, an employee failing to complete the job’s basic requirements or for a litany of other reasons. While there have been many stories in recent years as to how employers are alleged to have violated employment law when terminating an employee, there are many cases in which the dismissal is not necessarily illegal, but the payment of final wages and various deductions do violate the law. One part of a termination that employees should be aware of is receiving the wages they are owed and ensuring any deduction is done according the law. In a dispute, it is essential to have guidance in addressing it.