Colorado Employees Protected from Retaliation
Colorado law continues to protect workers’ rights by adding new laws to increase the legal protection afforded to Colorado employees. Colorado recently enacted what is called Senate Bill (“S.B.”) 22-161 which substantially increases legal protections for workers in Colorado. See here for text of statute. S.B. 22-161 has many provisions and changes – if you have questions you have about your employment rights, call the experienced Employee Rights Lawyers and Wage & Hour Litigators at Herrmann Law. In this article, we will focus on changes to Section 8-4-120 to Colorado Revised Statutes. If you think you are facing retaliation by employers in Colorado (or elsewhere in the nation), call us at (817) 479-9229. We offer legal representation to employees including Colorado employees and will work tirelessly to achieve justice for victims of Colorado employment law violations.
Ensuring Colorado Employees are Not Retaliated Against
The new statutory provisions will take effect in August 2023. The new provisions ban Colorado employers from:
- Discharging or
- Discriminating or retailiating against any Colorado employee in any manner
If a Colorado employee has filed any complaint, instituted, or caused to be filed a wage and hour claim or another type of claim to vindicate their rights as an employee. Further, Colorado employers are banned from the above described practices if a Colorado employee has testified or provided other evidence in any proceeding on behalf of the employee or other person seeking to vindicate their labor law protections or any type of Colorado case related to wages and/or hours.
Starting in August 2023, Colorado employees will be able to file private lawsuits to vindicate their rights under S.B. 22-161. This means that private attorneys — like the pro-worker attorneys at Herrmann Law — can file a lawsuit to protect your rights under Colorado law. Employees will not have to wait for the Colorado Attorney’s Office to take action or wait for action to be taken by officials to regulate and enforce Colorado labor laws.
In addition to allowing private litigation to be filed, the new statute makes retaliation and discrimination a criminal penalty — a class two misdemeanor. Workers can recover a host of new severe civil penalties including back pay, potential reinstatement if the worker is filed, front pay, back interest at the rate of 12% per year, penalties of $50 per day for each violation per worker, certain statutory liquidated damages, certain other types of injunctive relief, and attorney’s fees for the workers’ attorney and court costs.
Why a Private Right of Action is Important for Colorado Workers
Being allowed to file civil litigation in Colorado courts is an important protection for Colorado workers. As noted, having a private right of action means that workers do not have to wait to file litigation against employers who disobey the law. This means that litigation can be filed faster and workers will get justice sooner and, often, workers will receive higher settlements and/or verdicts. Further, because top-rated employee focused attorneys will file litigation directly against employers, such attorneys will have the time and dedication to target Colorado employers who violate Colorado labor laws. Labor department officials often have multiple duties and tasks and may not have the staffing to pursue full and complete justice. Most importantly, with a private right of action, workers have control over efforts to have their rights vindicated. With labor department officials, there are times when no action is taken at all. Other times, labor department officials push for an early settlement so files can be closed. This does not happen when workers control the ability to file private litigation.
Call the Employee Rights Attorneys at Herrmann Law Today
For more information, call the Employee Rights attorneys at Herrmann Law. If you think that your employer has violated your rights as an employee, call us. We are proven, experienced, employee-focused attorneys representing workers across the United States in all types of workplace disputes. Use our Online Contact page or call us at (817) 479-9229. We are more than just a law firm for employees – we are an employee’s fiercest advocate, equipping employees with the legal representation needed to achieve the best result possible.