This article concerns unlawful termination settlements in the state of Colorado.
It is very unusual for great cases to go to court, because they mostly reach settlement out of trial. However, if they do not reach settlement, there might be a trial, in which the employee or the employer will win.
Many of these court cases have mixed verdicts, implying they implicated 1, or possibly a number of claims of unlawful firing attributable to workplace retaliation, gender discrimination, firing in violation of public policy, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity discrimination, constructive discharge, whistleblower, breach of employment contract or race, color, national origin, religion discrimination.
The data which follows presents a snapshot of the various types of claims filed along with their numbers in the state of CO in 2017.
|State||2017 Total Charges||% of Total USA Charges||Race||Sex||Natl Origin||Religion||Color||Retaliation All Statutes||TVII Retaliation||Age||Disability||EPA||GINA|
Wrongful discharge cases & settlements in Colorado
Terry Velasquez v City of Colorado Springs
Terry Velasquez is the former finance director for the City of Colorado Springs. She was fired in 2011 by the major of the city. She sued the city on several claims: age discrimination, gender discrimination, wrongful termination.
She also alleged that she uncovered cases of mishandling money by city officials. The city conducted an investigation into these claims of malfeasance, but they were found baseless.
Regardless, the city settled the case for $250,000 out of court. The settlement was approved by the federal court. Source
R. Siani and M. Law v. University of Colorado
Richard Siani and Michael Law worked for the University of Colorado.
They realized that the University was not disposing of it’s hazardous waste properly, which they reported. Soon afterwards, both employees were terminated in retaliation.
Firing someone for doing the right thing is illegal based on Title VII. They went to court, and were awarded $600,000 in damages for wrongful termination. Source
EEOC v Children’s Hospital Colorado
Anti discrimination laws protect not just existing employees from wrongful termination, but also job applicants. Here is a perfect example.
Cecilia McMurray applied for a staff assistant position at Children’s Hospital Colorado. She successfully completed 3 rounds of interviews, and was offered the position, contingent on a successful pre-employment health screening. Once the screening was complete, the hospital withdrew it’s job offer.
This is a clear-cut case of disability discrimination, which violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). McMurray reported the wrongdoing to the EEOC, which filed suit against the hospital.
The employer entered into a consent decree denying any wrongdoing, and paid a settlement of $95,000 to McMurray. Source
EEOC v HoneyBaked Ham
The EEOC sued HoneyBaked Ham, producer of various meat products, for alleged sexual harassment.
According to the claim James Jackman, a regional manager for the company consistently made sexual comments to female colleagues, and touched them in an inappropriate manner.
This all was brought to light by one of the victims, Wendy Cabrera, who was a supervisor at the company. She reported the behavior of Jackman to her superiors, but in return, she was terminated in retaliation. Cabrera reported the events to the EEOC, which pressed charges against the employer.
Denying wrongdoing, the company entered into consent decree and agreed to pay a settlement of $370,000 to Cabrera and other victims. Source
EEOC v Home Depot
An ex-employee of Home Depot, world’s largest home improvement specialty retailer, had filed sex discrimination charges against the company in 2004. The lawsuit was settled the same year.
However, the employee was later fired from Home Depot’s Evergreen store. She believed she had been wrongfully terminated in retaliation for her original sex discrimination lawsuit, and reported it to the EEOC.
The EEOC sued Home Depot once again, this time, for wrongful discharge in retaliation. The case was settled, Home Depot paid $84,750 to the fired employee. Source
EEOC v RadioShack
David Nelson had worked for RadioShack in Denver. He turned 55 in 2007, and had a spotless performance record during his 25 years at the company.
A new supervisor arrived that year, and Nelson was quickly cited with 2 performance improvement plans soon after the new supervisor’s arrival. Nelson felt it was based on his age, and complained to the HR department. He was fired within 5 days of his complaint, despite the fact that the performance improvement plans had set a re-evaluation date, which would have come at a later date.
Suspecting wrongful termination due to retaliation, the EEOC sued RadioShack. The case went to trial, and the jury awarded Nelson $187,000 in back pay on the retaliation claim. Source
When looking at our list of unlawful firing settlements from Colorado, remember the fact that the bigger amounts are the outcome of punitive compensation. Punitive damages are brought to dissuade businesses from doing the same kind of unlawful act. Punitive compensation is relatively infrequent. A large number of cases settle for between $20,000 to just a few hundred thousand dollars.
This selection of unlawful firing settlements in CO is intended for informational purposes. Even though you may feel resemblance to any of these court cases, keep in mind that every single situation is unique.
What is the average wrongful discharge settlement/award in Colorado?
It is understandable that you might want to check approximately how much money you can expect to get for your unlawful dismissal lawsuit.
If you come to an agreement with the employer, the amount you are given is ordinarily determined by the following: job search costs, medical costs, lost benefits, reason of termination, emotional distress and lost wages. Punitive damages can also be awarded in rare cases, if the company acted egregiously.
As you’ll see from the sample claims mentioned above, presenting a standard settlement for wrongful discharge cases in CO is actually tricky, as every case is unique.
The average wrongful termination settlement in Colorado is between $6,000 – $80,000.
Lawyers can certainly be beneficial while negotiating a better settlement.
The majority of courtroom awards are usually bigger, approximately $100,000 and $500,000. This is definitely one of the reasons companies like to come to a mutually acceptable agreement before going to court.
Filing a wrongful discharge or discrimination claim in Colorado
If you think you were discharged for some kind of illegal reason, this is what you should do.
First of all, you’ll want to consult with a wrongful termination law firm in Colorado to see if there is a claim worth going after.
Do not hold off, because there may be cutoff dates to reporting wrongful firing claims in Colorado.
Second, you will most likely need to file a timely claim with the local EEOC office in Denver.
Here are a few guidelines on filing a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Even though employment-at-will is the prevailing form of employment in the USA, there are laws to protect employees against unjust discrimination and harassment.
WrongfulTerminationSettlements.com was created as a compass for people who feel they have been terminated wrongfully, or discriminated against at their workplace.