In All, Employment Law

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    Sandstrum Law – The following contains general insight into Colorado law regarding termination of at-will employees: Employer/Employee should contact or consult Sandstrum Law or an attorney for legal advice as deemed warranted. 

Colorado follows the legal doctrine of “employment-at-will” which provides that in the absence of a contract to the contrary, neither an employer nor an employee is required to give notice or advance notice of termination or resignation. Additionally, neither an employer nor an employee is required to give a reason for the separation from employment.

Payment of Final Wages

Termination of Employment by the Employer: When an interruption in the employer-employee relationship by volition of the employer occurs, the wages or compensation for labor or service earned, vested, determinable, and unpaid at the time of such discharge are due and payable immediately, 

EXCEPT:
•             When the employer’s accounting unit, responsible for the drawing of payroll checks, is not regularly scheduled to be operational, then the wages due the separated employee shall be made available to the employee no later than six hours after the start of such employer’s accounting unit’s next regular workday.


•             If the accounting unit is located off the work site, the employer shall deliver the check for wages due the separated employee no later than twenty-four hours after the start of such employer’s accounting unit’s next regular workday to one of the following locations selected by the employer:


a) the work site,
b) the employer’s local office,
c) the employee’s last-known mailing address.

Note: It is the policy of the Division of Labor that mailing of wages due to a separated employee is acceptable when the postmark is dated within the specified time periods as described above. For example, an employer with an off-site accounting unit may mail wages due to the separated employee via regular mail as long as the mailing is postmarked no later than twenty-four hours after the start of the accounting unit’s next regular workday.

Permissible Deductions Upon Termination

Deduction for the amount of money or the value of property that the employee failed to properly pay or return to the employer in the case where a terminated employee was entrusted during his or her employment with the collection, disbursement, or handling of such money or property. In this instance the employer shall have 10 calendar days after the termination of employment to audit and adjust the accounts and property value of any items entrusted to the employee before the employee’s wages or compensation shall be paid in accordance with C.R.S. 8-4-109.

Termination of Employment by the Employee (resignation)

When an employee voluntarily quits or resigns, they are to receive their wages and compensation, due and payable, upon the next regular payday. They may be paid by check, cash, or by direct deposit as on any other payday.


References Advisory Bulletin: Payment of Wages Upon Termination of Employment, 3(I)
Advisory Bulletin: Notice of Termination and Employment-At-Will, 4(II)
Advisory Bulletin: Employee Mistreatment and Discrimination, 14(II) 
Colorado Revised Statutes 8-4-109 (Termination of Employment)
Colorado Revised Statutes 8-4-105 (Deductions Permitted)
CO Dept. Labor & Employment website/wage hour