Retaliation & Whistleblower
Federal and Colorado law protects state and local government employees from retaliation by their employers for engaging in protected activity.
Murray Law welcomes the opportunity to provide experienced counsel and representation to individuals confronting retaliation.
Steven Murray has successfully represented state and local government employees in discrimination and retaliation cases, including obtaining favorable results for his clients before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Colorado Civil Rights Division, the Colorado State Personnel Board, and the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.Retaliation & Protected Activity
Retaliation protections apply to applicants, employees, and former employees.
An individual engages in protected activity by:
- Opposing discrimination under the law.
- Participating in a proceeding by filing a charge of discrimination, assisting, testifying, or participating in any investigation, litigation, or proceeding under law.
- Requesting or receiving a legal right or benefit, such as requesting or receiving a reasonable accommodation for a disability or religious belief.
Federal and Colorado law prohibits employers from taking materially adverse actions against a person because the individual engaged in lawfully protected activity.
Unlawful retaliatory actions may include the failure or refusal to hire, discharge, assignment of duties, demotion, discipline, harassment, and adverse actions about employment terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.Whistleblower
Colorado Public Health Emergency Whistleblower Law
In July 2020, Colorado enacted the Public Health Emergency Whistleblower (PHEW) law.
This law prohibits retaliation against employees who raise health and safety concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic.
The law applies to state and local government employers and private sector employers.
The law prohibits an employer from discriminating, retaliating, or taking adverse action against any employee who:
- Raises good-faith concerns about health and safety practices relating to a public health emergency to the employer, the employer’s agent, other workers, a government agency, or the public.
- Voluntarily wears the employee’s own personal protective equipment at work, such as a mask, faceguard, or gloves.
- Opposes a practice the employee reasonably believes is unlawful or makes a charge, testifies, assists, or participates in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing about alleged illegal acts.
The law prohibits an employer from requiring or attempting to require an employee to sign a contract or other agreement that limits or prevents the employee from disclosing information about workplace health and safety practices related to a public health emergency.Colorado State Employee Protection Act [Whistleblower Act]
The Colorado State Employee Protection Act [Whistleblower Act] protects state employees from retaliation for engaging in lawful disclosure of specific information.
This Colorado Whistleblower Law prohibits a state agency from disciplining or imposing a penalty against a state employee in retaliation for the employee’s disclosure of state agency actions that violate the public interest.
This law protects an employee who discloses information about any action, policy, regulation, practice, or procedure, including but not limited to:
- The waste of public funds.
- Abuse of authority.
- Mismanagement of any state agency.
An individual has specific rights, remedies, and requirements under the Colorado State Employee Protection Act and the Public Health Emergency Whistleblower Law.
Any person who believes they are the subject of retaliation for engaging in whistleblower activity should promptly consult an attorney to learn the scope of their rights, responsibilities, and remedies under the law.Conclusion
Murray Law welcomes the opportunity to counsel and represent state and local government employees facing retaliation in employment. Please call Steven Murray at 720-600-6642.