The workplace is a diverse environment filled with various personalities. As such, not every interaction will be amicable, and there might be instances of personal dislike. But, does this mean an employer in Colorado can terminate an employee merely because they do not like them?
Employment laws in Colorado aim to protect the rights of employees while ensuring a fair and balanced work environment. It is helpful to understand the regulations surrounding termination due to personal dislike.
What is at-will employment?
Colorado follows the ‘at-will’ employment doctrine, which means that an employer can terminate an employee at any time, for any reason, as long as it is not illegal. The same applies to the employee, who can leave the job at any time.
What makes a termination illegal?
While employers have broad leeway under at-will employment, they cannot terminate employment for reasons that federal or state laws protect. This includes discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information. Firing an employee because they filed a complaint about workplace safety or wage and hour violations also constitutes illegal termination.
Can personal dislike lead to termination?
In theory, personal dislike is not a protected characteristic, and an employer could terminate an employee based on personal animosity. However, if personal dislike is a guise for discrimination or retaliation, this could be illegal.
How do you address workplace issues?
It is advisable for employees to document incidents of unfair treatment and raise concerns with their superiors or human resources. By doing so, they can potentially identify patterns of behavior that may indicate underlying discrimination or retaliation.
In Colorado, while the at-will employment doctrine allows employers to terminate employees for a variety of reasons, personal dislike alone is a precarious reason for termination. Therefore, employers and employees alike should strive for professionalism and fair treatment in the workplace to foster a positive working environment.