Use the Lexology Navigator tool to compare the answers in this article with those from 20+ other jurisdictions.
Discipline and termination
State procedures Are there state-specific laws on the procedures employers must follow with regard to discipline and grievance procedures? Colorado has no law governing private employers with regard to discipline and grievance procedures.
At-will or notice At-will status and/or notice period? Colorado is an at-will state, meaning that the employer or employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time with or without notice or cause.
What restrictions apply to the above? The at-will status may be modified by an express or implied contract.
An implied contract can arise out of an employment manual, handbook, or other document reflecting company policy and practice (Frymire v. Ampex Corp., 61 F.3d 757 (10th Cir. 1995)).
In addition, Colorado recognizes certain public policy exceptions to the at-will employment relationship, such as when an employee is terminated after refusing to produce misleading financial accounting information (Rocky Mountain Hosp. & Med. Serv. v. Mariani, 916 P.2d 519 (Colo. 1996)), or after expressing concerns over the employer’s conduct in defrauding the government (Kearl v. Portage Ennvtl., Inc., 205 P.3d 496 (Colo. App. 2008)).
Final paychecks Are there state-specific rules on when final paychecks are due after termination? When an employee is terminated by the employer, all earned wages are due immediately, if the accounting unit is operational. If the accounting unit is not scheduled to be operational, pay is due no later than six hours after the start of the accounting unit’s next regular working day. If the accounting unit is off-site, then wages are due no later than 24 hours after the start of the accounting unit’s next regular working day (C.R.S. §8-4-109). When an employee resigns or quits his or her employment, all earned wages are due by or on the next regular working day (C.R.S. §8-4-109).