Civil Litigation: In every case regarding civil lawsuits the attorneys at Elkus & Sisson can provide their expertise. So whether you are looking to keep contractual obligations in order or you are involved in an employment related legal action, we can help.

Denver Civil Dispute Lawyers

Our civil justice system was established to hold the citizens of this country responsible for their actions or own failure to act as appropriate. By and through our civil justice system, individuals or businesses can be forced to answer for their wrongful behavior.

The civil litigation attorneys of Elkus & Sisson, P.C., have extensive experience in all types of civil disputes, including:

For a full list of services we provide in the matters of civil litigation, we have provided a quick reference in the blue key with links to more information on each subject.

Our Practice

Our Denver civil litigation lawyers have taken dozens of cases to verdict and have handled appeals throughout the Colorado civil court system.

A vast majority of all civil cases are settled out of court. In many instances, it may be in your best interest to resolve your dispute without going to trial. Our firm can advise you as to the best course of action for your particular case. You need our experienced civil litigation lawyers to advise you when settlement is appropriate, what type of settlement is fair and when full bore litigation is your best option.

We provide clients with aggressive and cost-effective representation through the services of seasoned litigators, employing creative resources in a cost-effective and efficient manner, and only taking actions that will truly advance our clients’ interests.

Whatever your issue, our business and commercial lawyers can assist you. Contact the law firm of Elkus & Sisson, P.C., to learn more.

Our Civil Litigation Practice

At Elkus & Sisson, P.C., our family law attorneys have experience in all types of civil litigation, including (but not limited to):


Business Law


Construction Defects


Employment Law

Construction Defect

Legal issues can add unnecessary emotional and financial strain to your life. At Elkus & Sisson, P.C, in Denver, Colorado, we are aware of the tumultuous nature of your situation and are here to help.

If you have a legal concern, don’t hesitate to contact our firm online or call us at 303-567-7981 to learn how we can be of assistance. Free initial consultations are available for those who qualify.

Denver Construction Dispute Attorneys

Throughout the course of their practice, our Colorado construction defect attorneys have amassed experience through litigating hundreds of cases.

At Elkus & Sisson, P.C, we focus our efforts on distinct areas of the law:

  • Balconies and decks
  • Cause of defects
  • Common areas where defects are found
  • Concrete and asphalt
  • Construction defect law
  • Construction litigation
  • Exterior cladding
  • Geologic hazards
  • Gradings and drainage
  • Homeowners associations
  • Mechanic’s liens
  • Mold
  • Plumbing, HVAC and electrical issues
  • Problems from construction defects
  • Roadways and infrastructure
  • Roof defects
  • Single family homes and neighborhoods
  • Sound transmission
  • Structural damage
  • Water damage
  • Construction defects
  • Windows and doors

If you have any type of legal issue, our lawyers are ready to represent your interests.

Construction Defect Services

Home Construction Defects
Whenever there is a great deal of new construction or repair work being performed on a number of single family homes throughout a neighborhood, there is a greater chance for construction defects. In order to complete jobs in a faster manner and save money on individual projects, some contractors may be willing to cut corners and not strictly adhere to construction law, which can result in serious problems for the homeowners in the community. There are many different construction defects that are common on single family homes and in neighborhoods, including:

Drainage and grading defects

Contractor negligence

Improperly installed walkways

Faulty road construction

Roof defects

Structural damage and imperfections

Exterior defects

When multiple units are built in the same area, particular attention must be paid to proper grading and drainage to avoid the possibility of one home taking on a serious amount of water being directed away from the surrounding homes. Improper attention to grading and drainage can result in the development of mold inside a home and eventually lead to wood rot that could affect the stability of the framing. Even if a single builder is overloaded with work, he or she still has the responsibility of following construction law to ensure that each and every job is completed in the appropriate manner. When builders begin to cut corners to save time on projects and construction defects result, the homeowners could be at risk for both financial problems and the possibility of injuries.
Homeowner Association
When there is construction being performed on condos or townhomes, it can cause inconvenience for a number of families. If work must be done on adjoining walls, shared walkways, driveways, or shared floors and ceilings, multiple families may be required to find another place to stay while the work is being performed. If the work is being performed by a licensed contractor who is strictly adhering to construction law, the inconvenience can be very short lived and well worth it, but if construction defects are present, the inconvenience those families experienced could be seriously magnified. Improper installation of plumbing or electrical systems in condos and townhomes can not only lead to headaches for the homeowners association, but construction defects can put a number of families at risk of injury and financial damages. Leaks from improperly installed pipes can lead to wood rot, which can weaken the framing and pave the way for a possible structural failure. Poor electrical connections can result in serious fires. If a contractor performing work in condos or townhomes doesn’t pay close attention to construction law and doesn’t use the appropriate materials for the task being performed, he or she could cause serious damage to several homes or cause serious injury to any number of inhabitants. If you’ve recently had work performed on your townhome or condo and there are any signs of construction defects with any of the work performed, you should immediately inform the homeowners association and reach out to an experienced lawyer at Elkus & Sisson, P.C
Mechanic’s Lien
If you need construction lien lawyers to represent you in a mechanic’s lien claim you can trust the services of Elkus & Sisson, PC, who has expertly aided Colorado companies as construction lien attorneys in all aspects of contractor claims. A construction dispute lawyer becomes necessary in a construction lien claim to guide you through the complicated payment claims and the demanding and precise process involved. Colorado mechanic’s lien claims require strict compliance with C.R.S. § 38-22-101, et seq. and any failure to meet the requirements of the statute will potentially defeat the lien claim. The Notice of Intent to Claim a Lien claim form should be completed in detail, referencing the legal description and address of the property, the contract for which payment is sought, and the precise amount of the lien amount claimed. Mistakes or omissions in address, legal description, the basis for the claim, signatures, notaries, and/or the exact amount owed on the claim can all become issues that jeopardize the claim. It is best to have a knowledgeable attorney review the completed form for technical compliance before serving it by mail or in person on the general contractor and owner.
Residential Construction

Construction Litigation: What Homeowners Need to Know

Construction litigation is the branch of law that deals with defects in the construction of commercial and private homes. Construction defects can cause financial loss due to repairs or personal injuries to homeowners, and an attorney experienced in construction litigation can help them get compensation for this loss.

Our attorneys can help Colorado homeowners recover damages from negligent construction companies for problems caused by construction defects such as:

Soil settling and improper drainage

Defective construction materials

Leaky roofs due to improper installation

Unsafe structures like decks or balconies

Faulty electrical or plumbing systems

Building code violations

Warranty violations

These kinds of construction defects can cause financial loss to the owner of the property through repair costs or medical expenses due to an accident incurred on the property. In construction litigation, your attorney will go after the parties that are financially responsible for these kinds of construction defects. This can be the construction company that performed the construction on your property or the homeowners insurance company that refuses to compensate you for damages or medical expenses.

Discrimination

Been Discriminated Against? You Need a Colorado Attorney Who Specializes in Employment Law

Getting laid off, fired or skipped over for a promotion can create feelings of anger, resentment and bitterness. These feelings intensify if there is suspicion of discrimination or you feel you have been wrongfully terminated.

On the flip side, being accused of discrimination can be just as emotionally stressful. This is why having an experienced Colorado employment attorney at your side is crucial.

Denver Workplace Discrimination Attorneys

Our attorneys can help you keep a cool head and prevent you from taking actions that you may later regret. An attorney who is well versed in employment law can advise you of your rights and help you build a solid case whether you stand accused or are a victim of discrimination.

We handle a variety of discrimination cases, including those involving:

Colorado Discrimination Law | Age Discrimination | Sex Discrimination

The state of Colorado prohibits employers from terminating or discriminating against employees based on age, race, sex, religion, nationality, pregnancy or disability.

These criteria are also not to be used in consideration for termination, wages, promotions or job assignments.

Employers are also prohibited from terminating an employee for being married to a co-worker, refusal to breach company policy, refusal to break a law, or in retaliation for filing a safety or discrimination claim.

In addition, an employer is prohibited from asking questions pertaining to the above criteria during an interview. These questions include:

  • Are you married or engaged?
  • Do you have children or are planning to have children?
  • Where were you born?
  • What’s your sexual orientation?
  • Have you ever been arrested?

An employer can ask about personal characteristics during an interview if he or she feels it might affect a candidate’s ability to perform a specific job. These questions may include:

  • Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
  • Do you have proof that you are eligible to work in the United States?
  • Can you perform this job with or without reasonable accommodations?

Discrimination by definition

Disability Discrimination

Handicapped Discrimination

Discrimination against the handicapped is prevalent throughout the public and private sectors of our society.

Prejudice that stems from fear of the unknown and a lack of understanding regarding the nature of a person’s handicap often shapes how normal people view such individuals, and most often are unable to see past a person’s handicap to discover he or she is a real person who is really not much different from anyone else.

Bias against the handicapped is very commonplace in the workplace. Fortunately for the gainfully employed handicapped, employee laws are in place to protect their rights.

What Constitutes a Disability?

Under Colorado employment law, a person is disabled if:
  • He or she has a physical, sensory (deafness or blindness) or mental impairment that affects his or her ability to perform daily activities
  • He or she has a record of such impairment
  • He or she is recognized as having such impairment

What Constitutes Handicapped Discrimination?

Handicapped discrimination can take on many forms. A few examples include:
  • Being treated differently on the job than your co-workers because you are handicapped
  • A restaurant refuses to provide handicapped access or accommodations
  • You get harassed and verbally abused by co-workers (i.e., they mimic your speech or physical impairment) and management does nothing to stop it even though you complain about it
  • You get skipped over for a promotion for which you are qualified because your boss — who is aware that you survived a debilitating and/or life-threatening illness — feels you may not be able to handle the responsibility

Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA)

Under Title I of the American With Disabilities Act (ADA), employers are prohibited from discriminating against a handicapped or disabled employee.

Employers with more than 15 employees must provide handicapped/disabled employees with equal opportunities to the same employment-related opportunities as those available to others.

In addition, employers must make reasonable accommodations to known mental or physical limitations of otherwise qualified persons with a handicap/disability, unless it causes undue hardship.

Gender Discrimination Lawyer in Denver, CO

Sex and/or gender discrimination remains a problem in the workplace. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) received 28,372 charges of gender discrimination complaints. Approximately 24,018 sex discrimination charges were resolved, and $109.3 million in monetary compensation for the charging parties and other aggrieved individuals was recovered by the EEOC.

Sex Discrimination | Pregnancy Discrimination

Gender or sex discrimination occurs when you receive different treatment because of your gender, and such treatment has an adverse impact on the terms or condition of your employment, such as your pay, position, advancement, training opportunities or job security. Some examples of sex or gender discrimination are as follows:

  • You apply for a position and are not hired despite having the experience and qualifications because the company’s clients prefer to deal with men
  • You get laid off as a result of company downsizing and reorganization, and you later discover that male employees who held the same position and have less seniority kept their jobs.
  • You work for the same employer for many years with an excellent employee record yet are repeatedly denied advancement opportunities. Your less-experienced male co-workers, some of whom you trained or currently supervise, get promotions instead.
  • Your workplace has a tiered job classification system, but your pay and job classification remained the same despite an increase in responsibilities. Meanwhile, the job classification and pay of male colleagues are adjusted to reflect the increase in their job responsibilities.
  • One of your male co-workers was able to go on medical leave for six months using the company’s long-term disability plan, but you were required to use vacation and sick time because your employer doesn’t provide long-term disability leave for pregnancy.
  • You discover that a male co-worker was just hired to the same job as yours, with the same amount of training and experience, but at a higher rate of pay
  • Your boss makes unwelcome and lewd comments about your body and often places his arm around your waist when you are discussing work-related issues. When you express your discomfort and ask that he stop, you’re told to “relax” or “loosen up” and now you feel that your job is on the line if you don’t learn to deal with it.

Colorado Discrimination Law

States have employee laws that protect workers from gender and other types of discrimination. The state of Colorado prohibits employers from discriminating against or terminating employees based on sex, age, race, color, creed, religion, nationality, pregnancy or disability. Using such criteria in consideration for termination, wages, promotions or job assignments is also prohibited. If you feel you are the victim of gender discrimination, a seasoned Colorado employment lawyer can advise you of your rights and help you fight to get the fair treatment you deserve.

To learn more about your rights, contact our Denver gender discrimination attorneys at Elkus, Sisson & Rosenstein, P.C., for a consultation.

Racial Discrimination

You may have a good job, but appreciating it is difficult when you’re being treated differently or adversely by your co-workers or supervisor because of your race.

Racial discrimination continues to be a serious problem in the workplace, despite efforts to promote racial sensitivity and diversity.

If you work in Colorado and feel you are being treated unfairly because of your race, you need to talk to a Denver employment lawyer who specializes in dealing with racial discrimination cases.

Colorado Discrimination Law

Employers are prohibited from discriminating against an employee based on age, race, sex, religion, nationality, pregnancy or disability, and such criteria are prohibited from being used in consideration for termination, wages, promotions or job assignments.

Examples of Racial Discrimination

Racial discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employee is treated differently because of his or her race, color or ethnicity. Some examples of racial discrimination are as follows:

  • Hiring/firing/promotions: You don’t get hired for a job you applied for despite having the qualifications and experience because the company’s customers or longtime clients prefer not to deal with Hispanics. You are laid off and are told that company reorganization is the reason, yet you can’t help but notice your White co-workers with the same job as yours and less tenure still have their jobs. You have been repeatedly skipped over for promotions despite having worked for your company for many years, during which you have received glowing reviews. If that wasn’t bad enough, the person who got the job is White and less qualified.
  • Pay: You’ve worked your way up through the ranks to become a project manager, and you discover that a White project manager with the same training and experience was hired and will be paid much more than you currently get paid.
  • Job classification: Your salary and job classification has pretty much remained stagnant over time, yet that of your White colleagues has been periodically adjusted to reflect their increased job responsibilities.
  • Harassment: You have a colleague who routinely tells jokes insulting Blacks, Latinos and other minorities, and despite voicing your displeasure and discomfort to both him and your boss, the behavior continues.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects persons from race-based discrimination in employment. It is illegal for an employer to discriminate against a person because of his or her race in hiring, firing, promotion, raises and other job opportunities.

All private employers, state and local governments, and educational institutions that employ more than 15 staff are covered under Title VII, as are private and public employment agencies, joint labor management committees controlling apprenticeship, training and labor organizations.

Employment Law

If you are in a situation with your future, current or former employer in Colorado that involves employment laws, you need a seasoned Denver, CO attorney who is experienced in all aspects of employment law at the national and state levels.

Denver Workplace Discrimination Lawyers

Our attorneys have this experience and dedication to their clients’ rights under employment law.

They can help you negotiate with employers, protect your employment rights, mediate employment disputes and hold employers accountable to discrimination and other employment laws.

Your experienced employment attorney from our firm can also help you in different stages of employment.

Before You Are Hired
A seasoned employment lawyer can help you in many different ways before you are hired with the following services:
  • Fighting discriminatory hiring practices based on gender, race, disability or sexual orientation
  • Negotiating benefit and severance packages in advance
  • Reviewing employment contracts
  • Explaining noncompete agreements and other employment agreements
  • Safeguarding your right to fair pay and benefits
  • Holding employers accountable to national and state employment laws
While You Are Working
An attorney with experience in employment law can also help you with employment law issues that arise after you are hired, including:
  • Ensuring a safe working environment free from discrimination
  • Protecting your civil rights on the job
  • Fighting discrimination in the workplace
  • Helping you prosecute whistleblower retaliation
  • Investigating consumer protection issues on the job
  • Negotiating leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act
After Employment Termination
You can also retain the services of a Colorado employment attorney after your employment has been terminated to help you with many different employment law matters, such as:
  • Fighting for compensation for wrongful termination
  • Negotiating benefit and severance packages after you leave a position
  • Helping retain benefits with COBRA
  • Examining noncompete agreements
  • Enforcing back pay and vacation pay that is owed to you after termination

Employment Law services

Administrative Grievance

If you have filed or are thinking of filing an administrative grievance against your employer, you should retain the services of an employment attorney as soon as possible.

An attorney who is knowledgeable about all of Colorado’s employment laws can help you review and file your grievance with your employer or an appropriate government agency.

What Is an Administrative Grievance?

An administrative grievance is a written request for relief that is submitted by an employee or group of employees pertaining to a concern relating to the employment of the individuals. Administrative grievance procedures cover employees who are not members of a union or labor organization.

Employees belonging to a union or labor organization may file administrative grievances if the issue at hand is not covered by a Negotiated Grievance Procedure or if there is no Negotiated Grievance Procedure in effect at the time the administrative grievance is submitted.

Don’t Let Your Employer Intimidate You!

Employers or any other staff is prohibited from interfering with an employee’s filing of a grievance. Any act of restraint, coercion, discrimination or retaliation against an employee who files a grievance is illegal.

Employers or co-workers who commit any of these offenses could face severe disciplinary action as well as be in violation of employee laws. Any employee who provides information pertaining to a grievance is also similarly protected.

If you’re employed in Colorado and feel you are being subjected to unfair treatment because of a grievance you filed, talk to an experienced Colorado employee law attorney who has knowledge in administrative grievance procedures along with the experience in handling these types of cases.

You want a lawyer who is well versed in Colorado’s employee laws and how they pertain to your specific matter.

You need an employee law attorney who can clearly explain the laws in a manner you will understand and advise you of your rights under the law. Your attorney can examine how your grievance was handled to see if your employer violated any laws.

He or she can also choose the best course of action for you as well as advise you of other resources or government agencies you could reach out to for help.

Civil Rights

Colorado civil rights laws encompass areas of discriminatory practices in housing, employment, public accommodations, advertising and in dealing with people with disabilities. Our lawyers are knowledgeable in all of these civil rights laws, their specific statutes and penalties for violating these laws.

Colorado Civil Rights Laws at a Glance

Housing: Colorado prohibits refusing to show, rent, sell, lease or transfer housing, or otherwise make unavailable housing because of a person’s race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, disability, creed or marital/familial status.

Employment: An employer cannot refuse to hire a person because of race, sex, creed, color, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, age or disability. An employer cannot promote/demote, discharge or harass an employee or use discriminatory practices in matters of conditions, terms, compensation or privileges of employment based on the same factors. An employer can refuse to hire a disabled person if there is lack of reasonable accommodations on the premises, if the disability automatically disqualifies a person for a job or if the disability significantly impacts the job.

Employment agencies may not refuse to list and properly classify or refer a person for employment in a known available job for which the person is qualified because of race, color, creed, sex, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, age or ancestry. An employment agency may not comply with an employer’s request that directly or indirectly indicates the employer discriminates in employment on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, religion, sexual orientation, nationality, age or ancestry. An employment agency may refuse to list and properly classify or refer a disabled person for employment in a known available job for which the person is qualified but there is no reasonable accommodation the prospective employer can make with regard to the disability — the disability automatically disqualifies a person for the job and the disability significantly impacts the job.

Public accommodations: Any place of business engaged in sales to the public or offering accommodations, privileges, services, facilities or advantages to the public may not refuse to directly or indirectly deny or withhold full and equal enjoyment of facilities, goods, services, advantages, privileges or accommodations from a group or individual because of race, color, creed, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, ancestry or marital status.

Discriminatory advertising: An owner, manager, proprietor, superintendent, lessee, agent or employee of any resort, amusement park or place of public accommodation may not issue, publish, send, circulate, give away, distribute or display any communication intended to discriminate or actually discriminates because of race, color, creed, disability, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, nationality or ancestry.

Persons with disabilities: Persons who are blind, visually impaired, fully and partially deaf, and otherwise disabled have the right to fully participate in the social and economic life of the state and secure gainful employment.

Collective Bargaining

At Elkus & Sisson, P.C.  our lawyers handle a variety of employment law matters, including issues involving collective bargaining rights.

Collective bargaining is a negotiation between an employer and a group of employees to discuss issues such as benefits, wages/salaries, paid time off, working conditions, and health and safety standards in the workplace.

A union or labor organization typically serves as the representative of the employees. The objective of the collective bargaining process is to come to a collective agreement. Collective bargaining is governed by state and federal statutory laws, administrative agency regulations and judicial decisions.

If state and federal laws overlap, state laws are pre-empted.

The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) is the main body of law that governs collective bargaining. The NRLA gives employees the right to join unions and collectively bargain.

It also establishes procedures for labor organization selection and prohibits employers from interfering with this selection. Under the NLRA, employers are required to bargain with the appointed employee representative.

Neither the employer nor the employee representative is required to reach an agreement, but they are required to adhere to procedural guidelines on good faith bargaining. State laws further regulate collective bargaining. An experienced employee law attorney can explain Colorado’s collective bargaining laws as they pertain to your case.

Consumer Protection

Consumers’ protection issues arise every day for Coloradans. One person discovers his or her identity has been stolen; another believes a lender is guilty of discriminatory lending practices; and another may be having a contractual dispute with a vendor whose services or goods were unsatisfactory.

The Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section provides consumers and business with resources they can utilize to protect themselves from fraud and other deceptive or illegal practices.

Consumer Protection Section

The Consumer Protection Section protects Colorado’s businesses and consumers from fraud and maintains a competitive business environment by enforcing federal and state consumer protection laws; enforcing federal and state antitrust laws; enforcing and implementing tobacco master settlement agreement provisions; enforcing state laws on debt collection, predatory lending, consumer lending, credit repair and rent-to-own; and acting as advocates on behalf of small business, residential and agricultural public utility taxpayers.

Common Consumer Protection Issues

Below are some consumer protection issues that the Consumer Protection Section addresses:

  • Identity theft: Consumers can get information on identity theft, how to detect it, how to protect themselves and what to do if they become a victim.
  • Credit and banking: Consumers can learn how to file a bank complaint with the Federal Reserve; how to manage their credit; what to do if credit discrimination is suspected; what to do if their credit card is stolen; how to lower bank fees and understanding laws pertaining to gift cards.
  • Personal finance: Consumers can get information on managing debt and saving for retirement.
  • Health insurance: Consumers get an overview of COBRA, HIPAA, mental health and maternity coverage, as well as an overview of health insurance rights.
  • Travel: Consumers can get information on different types of travel insurance; tips on deciding whether to purchase rental car insurance; resolving disputes while traveling or finding good deals on hotel rentals without risking fraud.
Severance Package

In Colorado, any time there’s a change in your employment status — whether you’re just hired or promoted — you can negotiate with your employer regarding benefit or severance packages.

You may be tempted to negotiate these packages on your own, but an employment attorney can help you get better benefit and severance packages than if you negotiated on your own.

Boulder Employee Benefit Package Attorneys

At Elkus and Sisson, P.C. our Denver employment lawyers are very familiar with Colorado employment laws and can help you review employment contracts to make sure you are getting the pay, benefits and severance you deserve.

If you’ve just been hired, you can get an employment lawyer to help you negotiate with your new employer on a variety of issues such as:

Benefit and Severance Packages

It’s a good idea to negotiate these packages with the help of our Denver severance package attorneys before you are hired for many reasons, including:

  • Using an attorney shows your employer you are serious about contracts
  • Seeing how your employer responds can show you how serious the employer is about hiring you
  • An attorney can help you find hidden clauses and explain details in your employment contract
  • You can get a more favorable benefit package, possibly including benefits that don’t expire after you leave the position
  • You might also be able to get a larger severance package that can go into effect even if you terminate your employment voluntarily
  • You can also be protected from losing wages in the event of layoffs

When You Leave a Company

You can also retain the services of an employment lawyer after your employment has been terminated. A Colorado employment attorney can help you negotiate with your former employer about many different issues, including:
  • Benefit and severance packages: Even if you didn’t negotiate these things in advance, you can still get benefits that won’t expire and a severance package once you’ve left a position if you have an experienced and aggressive employment lawyer on your side.
  • Additional compensation: You might be able to get bonuses to your severance package for things like being with the company for years or contributing to company’s success. An employment lawyer is a good tool to have when negotiating additional compensation.
Sexual Harassment

Don’t Fight Sexual Harassment Alone. Let a Seasoned Colorado Employment Lawyer Help.

Sexual harassment can happen to any employee, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. It can be direct or indirect. The number of sexual harassment grievances filed with EEOC gradually decreased in recent years, falling from 12,510 in 2007 to 11,717 in 2010. The majority of complaints came from women; however, men filed 16.4 percent of the complaints. Of the women filing complaints, 43 percent were sexually harassed by a supervisor; 27 percent were harassed by a senior employee; 19 percent were harassed by a fellow co-worker and 8 percent were harassed by a junior employee.

Only 5 to 15 percent of female employees report sexual harassment out of shame, guilt at being harassed, feeling that nothing will be done about it, fear of losing their jobs or hurting their chances of advancement. Men are less likely to report sexual harassment because of masculine stereotypes or the fear of their sexuality being scrutinized.

Definition

Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sexual harassment occurs when unwelcome sexual advances, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, or requests for sexual favors when rejection or submission affects an employee’s employment, impacts his or her work performance or creates a hostile work environment.

Employer Liability

If sexual harassment results in an employee being fired, demoted or assigned to unfavorable work assignments or subjected to a hostile work assignment, the employer will be held liable unless the employer can show that he or she took reasonable steps to prevent and correct the problem and the employee unreasonably failed to utilize the company’s corrective and preventative measures. An employer can also be held liable if he or she was aware of the harassment and did not take corrective and preventative measures to rectify the problem.

Our Denver and Boulder Workplace Harassment Attorneys Can Help

Our attorneys specialize in all areas of employment law, including sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a very emotionally stressful experience, and you need an employment attorney with experience handling cases of this sensitive nature. Your attorney should be able to explain your rights under the law and prepare you for the legal battle ahead of you.

Overtime Pay

Overtime Claims Lawyers

The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to pay overtime to covered, non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek.

The rate of overtime pay is to be one and one-half times an employee’s regular pay rate. There are some exceptions that apply to hospital and nursing home employees, as well as firefighter and police officers.

Some states have overtime laws that subject an employee to both state and federal overtime laws and the employer is required to pay overtime according to those that allow for payment of the higher overtime pay.

Colorado Overtime Laws

Colorado law requires employers to pay time and a half of an employee’s regular pay rate for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours per workweek, 12 hours per workday or 12 consecutive hours regardless of when the workday starts and ends.

Covered and Exempt Employees

Employees who are covered under Colorado’s overtime laws are those who work in retail and service, food and beverage, commercial support service and health/medical occupations. Exempt employees include:

  • Salespeople, mechanics and parts-personnel and mechanics who work for automobile, farm implement (retail) or truck dealers and salespeople who work for trailer, boat (retail) and aircraft dealers
  • Sales employees working in service or retail industries of which half of their earnings are from commission sales and their regular pay is one and a half times the minimum wage. This exception applies only to those employees who receive 75 percent or more of their yearly dollar volume from service or retail sales.
  • Employees at ski resorts who perform duties relating to ski area operations involving skiing or snowboarding, as well as food and beverage service employees at on-mountain sites. However, overtime of one and a half the regular hourly rate for hours worked over 12 in a workday shall apply, except for ski area employees whose duties relate to lodging.
  • Employees in the medical transportation industry who are required to work 24-hour shifts are except from the daily 12-hour overtime requirement, but must be paid overtime for any hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek.

An employer may not waive overtime pay, even with the agreement of the employee. Employers who do not comply with overtime pay laws will be in direct violation of FLSA rules.

In addition to being fined, an employer can be held liable for retro overtime pay for up to two years; three years if he or she is found to have willfully violated the law. The employer can also be sued by the employee, which could be very costly to the employer.

Wage Law

Unfair Wage Practices in Denver

Employers are required by federal law to adhere to the standards mandated by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) that pertain to wage and overtime pay.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division enforces these standards. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour (effective July 1, 2009), but some employees are covered by both federal and state minimum wage laws.

Severance, vacation, sick or holiday pay is not required under the FLSA although most companies do offer it.

Colorado’s Wage Laws

Colorado’s minimum wage is $7.36 per hour as of Jan. 1, 2011. Employees covered by federal and state minimum wage laws must be paid the higher minimum wage.

Employees must be paid a tipped minimum wage of $4.34 per hour. Employees covered by state and federal minimum wage laws must be paid the higher tip minimum.

Employers must use cash wages to make up any difference should an employee’s tips plus the employer’s cash wage total less than the minimum hourly wage.

No more than $3.02 per hour in tip income can be used to offset tipped minimum wage.

Just because the laws are in place, it doesn’t mean some employers won’t try to get around paying a fair wage. Some examples of unfair or dishonest wage practices that occur in the workplace include:

Not providing wage statements

Unpaid wages

Minimum wage violations

Late payment at separation

Meal and rest breaks. Employers must provide rest and meal breaks.

Unpaid sales commissions

Unreimbursed work expenses

Having employees work “off the clock” and not paying for the work performed

Inaccurate wage and hour calculations. This could occur intentionally or as a result of an accounting error, but if the later occurs frequently, it could be a red flag.

Let a Seasoned Colorado Employment Attorney Help

There are many employment law attorneys in Denver County who are well versed in all areas of employment law as well as federal wage laws, but you want one with experience dealing with cases involving unfair wage practices and who has years of experience and a proven track record. You want an employment law attorney who can explain your rights under the law and choose the best course of action for you to take.

Whistleblower

Whistleblower Retaliation

There are many company violations of the law that go unreported because of the fear of retaliation. Employees depend on their jobs to maintain their livelihoods and in most cases medical and retirement benefits.

What many employees may not know is that most of the same laws that protect them — like wage and hour protections, health and safety laws, and anti-discrimination laws — also have provisions that make it illegal for an employer to retaliate against them for reporting wrongdoing.

What Is Whistleblowing?

Whistleblowing happens when a person tells an authority figure or the public about alleged illegal or dishonest activities (i.e., misconduct) within a company, government department or public/private organization, or an employee exposes dishonest practices or illegal activities occurring within his or her company.

The misconduct can be in the form of a company regulation, a federal or state law, or a public health and safety threat. Whistleblowers may make allegations either internally within the organization allegedly guilty of wrongdoing or externally to the media, law enforcement or regulators.

Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989

The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 prohibits retaliation against federal employees who disclose violations of laws, rules or regulations, gross misconduct, mismanagement or waste of funds, or a specific and substantial danger to public health and safety.

Federal whistleblower protections also protect employees working in the private sector, since disclosures by private sector employees typically pertain to misconduct of government officials as well as private sector employers.

How Your Attorney Can Help What to Do if You Suspect Whistleblower Retaliation

If you recently disclosed information pertaining to misconduct within your current or former company and suspect retaliation is being taken against you, do not hesitate to consult with an experienced Colorado employee law attorney.

Your attorney can explain your rights and advise you of your legal options and the best course of action to take. He or she will explain the legal process as it pertains to your circumstances and let you know what to expect.

Wrongful Termination

Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires or lays off an employee in violation of that employee’s legal rights.

In order to prove the firing or layoff was wrongful, the employee must be able to prove that one or more of his or her legal rights was violated in the process. In wrongful termination cases, it’s crucial to enlist the aid of a lawyer with vast experience handling employee law cases and a proven track record.

Do You Have a Case?

If you work in Colorado and feel you were wrongfully terminated, a seasoned Colorado law attorney can review your case and advise you how to proceed.

There are certain criteria that could be grounds for a wrongful termination lawsuit against a former employer:

  • You feel you have been discriminated against because of your race, age, sex, nationality, religion or disability
  • You feel your termination was retaliation for filing a complaint about harassment or other type of discrimination
  • You feel your termination constitutes a violation of a contract or explicit promise regarding your employment or the conditions under which you could be terminated
  • You feel your termination was retaliation for whistleblowing
  • You feel your termination was punishment for refusing to perform an unsafe or illegal activity for your employer
  • You feel you were terminated because you took time off for illness, caring for a child, military service, or some other medical or personal leave
  • You believe that the company was in violation of its termination policy
  • You feel you were fired for being in or involved in organizing a union
  • You feel you will face financial hardship because you believe it will take months or years to secure comparable employment
  • You worked for the company for many years
  • You suffered severe emotional distress due to the treatment you received while you were employed
  • As a condition of receiving severance pay, you were asked to sign a separation agreement that contained a release giving up any legal rights.

Colorado Labor Laws at a Glance

The labor laws in Colorado cover many areas such as wages and hours, employment verification, work permits and youth employment. Your employment attorney can explain each area of Colorado’s labor laws that pertains to your circumstances, including wage and hour law.

Wages
Wages: As of Jan. 1, 2011, the state minimum wage is $7.36 per hour. Employees covered by federal and state minimum wage laws must be paid the higher minimum wage (the current federal minimum wage is $7.25). Employers must pay a tipped minimum wage of $4.34 per hour. If an employee is covered by state and federal minimum wage laws, the higher tip minimum must be paid. If an employee’s tips plus the employer’s cash wage come out to less than the minimum hourly wage, the employer must make use cash wages to make up the difference. No more than $3.02 per hour in tip income can be used to offset tipped minimum wage.
Hours
Hours: Employers are not required to pay an employee merely for showing up to work. Employers are required to pay for actual work performed or services rendered during the time the employee is present. For example, an employee reports to work and his or her employer sends him or her home without the employee doing any work. The employer is not required to pay the employee for showing up. Some employees may qualify for overtime, which is time and one-half their regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week, 12 hours per day or 12 consecutive hours regardless of the start and end time of the workday, whichever renders a larger payment of wages.
Employment verification
Employment verification: Public and private employers must retain copies of each employee’s identification and employment authorization documents for employment eligibility purposes.
Work permits
Work permits: Work permits are not required, except in the case of minor employees, who are required to submit age certificates.
Youth employment
Youth employment: Employers must adhere to the guidelines under the Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act of 1971 (CYEOA) pertaining to age restrictions and allowed occupations. No child under age 16 can work on a school day unless he or she has a school release permit. In addition, no child under 16 can work more than six hours after school unless the next day is not a school day.

Let a Seasoned Colorado Employment Lawyer Help You

Finding a qualified employment law attorney in Denver County is easy; finding one who is good fit for you requires due diligence on your part. The ideal attorney is one who is knowledgeable about all areas of Colorado’s labor laws and has a proven track record for success in reaching positive outcomes with each case he or she has handled.

Dedicated to Justice

With over 15 years of experience, Elkus and Sisson, P.C. strives to give each of our clients the personalized attention they would get from a smaller firm with the experience and knowledge that a collaborative firm has to offer.

No matter what your legal issue, our responsibility is to provide you with individualized attention to help guide you through the legal process while keeping your goals in mind. Do not hesitate to contact us regarding your legal concerns and to learn how we can assist you in finding solutions to your legal issues.

Donald Sisson

Lead Counsel

Reid Elkus

Lead Counsel

Steve Mandelaris

Litigation and Appeals Attorney

Zachary Wagner

Complex Civil Litigation Attorney

Michael L Cheroutes Jr.

Family Law Attorney

Lucas Lorenz

Attorney

Professionals of Elkus & Sisson, PC

Mr. Elkus’ representation of his clients range from individual and small businesses to very large corporations in several areas of the law. Having litigated a vast array of cases in matters including: complex security cases; breach of contract; breach of partnership matters; constructions defect, personal injury and criminal matters, Mr. Elkus provides confidence in every … Continue reading "Civil Litigation Law Firm in Denver, CO"
Donald Sisson is an accomplished lead counsel with many successful outcomes in various areas of practice including Complex Civil Litigation, Construction Law, Real Estate Litigation, Corporate Disputes, and Police Defense. Bringing confidence and poise to every case, Mr Sisson has provided numerous clients winning litigation practices. For the last several years, Mr. Sisson has represented … Continue reading "Civil Litigation Law Firm in Denver, CO"