Employment in Colorado

If you are injured due to work, you are entitled to compensation in some instances. Laws have been put in place to help you get what you are owed without having to stage a legal battle. If a family member has been killed in a work-related incident, you will also likely be able to collect compensation from the employer. Dependents can often receive benefits, as well. A Colorado business with one or more employees, whether they are working full-time or part-time, must offer insurance for workers' compensation. However, some types of businesses are exempt from this rule. Be sure to look into this before starting a new job.

At-Will Employment

An at-will employee is one who is employed without the benefit or protection of a contract. If you are employed at-will, you can be terminated for any cause as long as that cause is not against the discrimination laws. If you are under a contract, you are protected in most cases from termination for any reason not mentioned in the contract itself.

In the state of Colorado, there are two legal ideas that provide some measure of protection to the at-will employee. One is called "public policy", and it simply says that you cannot be legally fired because you used a legal right or performed a legal responsibility. The other exception is called an "implied contract", and it says that you are considered to be under contract in situations where you are employed according to an implied or expressed contract. Some procedures in employee handbooks are considered to be a binding agreement between the company and the employee.

COBRA Benefits

The name COBRA stands for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act. This federal law provides for employees to continue benefiting from health insurance provided by the employer. COBRA states that a company must employ at least 20 people, and that the employee can collect for only 18 months.

You qualify for COBRA protection if you lost coverage by being terminated (by your own choice or by your employer's choice) for any cause except for major misconduct. You can also receive COBRA help if you have lost coverage due to working fewer hours. If it is a spouse who receives the health insurance, you can still qualify for COBRA if the spouse loses coverage for one of the reasons listed above, begins receiving Medicare or dies, or if you divorce or legally separate.

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