Areas Of Legal Representation


 Employment Discrimination • Personal Injury • Serious Accidents • Overtime and Wage Claims • Whistleblowers 

• Civil Rights Violations • Non-Compete • Trade Secrets • Unfair Competition • Discrimination • Age Claims             

Specifics

The experienced and aggressive attorneys at the law firm of Arckey & Associates, LLC include a unique focus and specialization in employment discrimination, personal injury and accident law, retaliation and Whistleblower laws, as well as civil rights and wage and hour violations.  


Family Leave, Pregnancy, Sick Leave

Do you need time off for the birth of your child?

Did your employer terminate you for being absent because of illness or injury?


Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Colorado Family Care Act (FCA), many employees are entitled to twelve weeks per year of unpaid time off to care for yourself or a family member for a qualifying medical condition. You must give your employer adequate notice and documentation.  Employers may not interfere with this leave and may not terminate an employee in retaliation for exercising her or his right to this leave.

Under the Colorado Civil Union Law, domestic partnerships also receive the benefits under the Colorado Family Care Act. 

Arckey & Associates have represented both public and private employees in meditations, arbitration's, and state court proceedings.


Non-Compete Agreements

You may have signed a non-compete or non-competition agreement before or after your employment. Often times, employment agreements and severance agreements contain non-compete clauses. 

Employee and Independent Contractor Non-Compete Agreements

Non-compete agreements may prevent you from working certain jobs or working for certain employers for a period of time. However, Colorado law prohibits non-compete agreements unless they fall into one of four narrow exceptions.  To be a valid non-compete in Colorado, it must be part of a contract for the purchase and sale of a business or the assets of a business; part of an employee training agreement; part of a contract for the protection of trade secrets; or a contract between a company and its executive and management personnel and officers and employees who constitute professional staff to executive and management personnel. 

Physician Non-Compete Agreements

While non-compete agreements for physicians are not valid after the physician has left her or his employment, an employer can enforce contractual provisions requiring a physician damages for terminating a contract and practicing medicine for a different employer.

If you have signed a non-compete agreement and are thinking about finding new employment, our attorneys can help you understand whether  your current or former employer can enforce the non-compete against you, and if so, whether your new employment would violate the non-compete agreement.  

If your employer has requested that you sign a non-compete agreement, our attorneys can help you understand what rights and future opportunities you would be giving up under the agreement and the consequences of not signing the agreement.
 

Trade Secret Agreements

Trade Secrecy under the Colorado Uniform Trade Secrets Act. C.R.S. §7-74-101, et. seq. (CUTSA).  Businesses have the right to protect their confidential business information, which can constitute Trade Secrets.  In some circumstances, employees can be restricted to working with competitors of their former employer if Trade Secrets will be disclosed.  However, in Colorado such a restriction must comply not only with the Colorado statute on non-compete agreements, C.R.S. § 8-3-112, but must also comply with CUTSA.  

Colorado courts determine whether business information is a trade secrets through analyzing up to eight different factors.  Two of these factors require that the information be both secret and of value. Value will likely be assumed for any information that has any type of recognized commercial value, so the real issue under the UTSA is usually that of secrecy. 

Secrecy means what the term implies, that the information not be generally known to those outside of a select number of people to who access is given to such information on a need to know, commercial necessity basis. This does not necessarily mean that the information is unknown to anyone outside the company, but universal knowledge of information clearly removes its status as anyone's secret. 

For secrecy to exist, the UTSA requires that the reputed owner of the information take "protective measures" to guard against unwarranted disclosure of such information to those persons to whom access should not be given. What will be sufficient protective measures is a case-by-case issue. For instance, customer lists, a segment of information that business owners routinely believe is secret, may or may not be afforded trade secret status, dependent upon the facts of each case.

Retaliation

Have you reported or complained about your employer, a coworker or a supervisor's treatment of you or a fellow employee? Has your employer, coworker, or supervisor retaliated against you for reporting or complaining about discrimination, harassment, or abuse?

Have you filed a Charge of Discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or Colorado Civil Rights Division or provided information to the EEOC or CCRD as part of an investigation into race discrimination, national origin discrimination, sexual harassment, religious discrimination, sex discrimination, gender discrimination, sexual orientation discrimination, age discrimination, or disability discrimination?  Did your employer retaliate against you for exercising your legal rights or cooperating with these government agencies?

Have you reported safety issues, OSHA violations, or dangerous or hazardous workplace conditions? Have you reported fraud or other illegal activity in your workplace? Were you terminated, demoted, harassed, or punished for reporting these issues?

If your employer has retaliated against you for filing a complaint, complaining verbally to a coworker, supervisor, or human resources representative, reporting to a government agency, or filing a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC or CCRD, you may have a claim under federal or state law.

Even if you reported these issues to a coworker or supervisor, and not to the EEOC, police, or other government agency, you may still have a claim for retaliation.  Several federal and state laws prohibit employers from terminating, demoting, punishing, or retaliating against employees for complaining about discrimination, complaining about harassment, complaining about retaliation, complaining about fraud or other illegal activity, and complaining about safety or OSHA violations.  

There are short time limits to file a legal claim if you have been retaliated against.  Some deadlines are as short as 10 and 30 days.  In Colorado, even if you have already filed a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC, you must amend the Charge within 300 days if your employer has retaliated against you after you filed the Charge.  If you think you have been retaliated against, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.  

The attorneys at Arckey & Associates have worked with many people who have experienced retaliation.  

Executive Compensation and Professional Employment Agreements

Compensation Benefits that are frequently found in executive compensation agreements include:

•  Specific term of employment in years

•  Termination only for cause provisions

•  Compensation for termination without cause

•  Base Salary with annual increases

•  Signing Bonus

•  Annual Bonus

•  Stock awards

•  Participation in employee benefit plans, both qualified and unqualified plans under ERISA     

Arckey & Associates employment lawyers have extensive experience in assisting highly compensated employees with executive compensation agreements, including litigation of wrongful termination for termination without cause. Important paragraphs in these agreements are "for cause termination" and "termination for good reason.”

Physician Contracts, Agreements and Representation

Colorado law allows an employer to contract with physicians and include limited non-competition (non-competes) provisions. The lawyers at Arckey & Associates have extensive experience with these contracts. Physician agreements are generally not permitted under Colorado law to contain an non-competition agreement, but may contain provisions requiring a physician to compensate his/her former employer for profits associated with loss of patient business.  Our employment attorneys work with physicians to assist them with their employment agreements, hospital contracts, physician shareholder or member agreements in their group practice.

Important element of a physician or other professional employment agreement include:

•  Compensation, including benefits, bonuses, profit sharing and retirement plan participation

•  Medical privileges and peer review requirements

•  Specific provisions requiring termination for cause, favorably defined to be unjust termination

•  Compensation upon termination without cause and a specific notice period

•  Payment or reimbursement for licensing, specialties and Board certifications


Our employment attorneys can also provide representation in physician license and disciplinary matters, and assist to provide strategies physician discipline, employer or peer counseling situations, including proceedings before the Medical Board of Examiners.
           

Employment Severance and Release Agreements            

Some employers offer employees severance agreements when the employee is terminated, laid-off, or resigns.  An employee desires to receive payment for time between jobs, a payment known as severance.  In return for the severance payment, an employer desires closure of the employee-employer relationship, including the signing of a waiver and release to prevent future lawsuits by the employee.  There is no set formula determining the amount of the amount of severance.  An employer is not obligated to pay severance, unless it has adopted a formal severance plan.  While these severance agreements can be generous, most severance agreements waive an employee's right to seek legal action for the employer's unlawful actions.  

Severance agreements also frequently contain confidentiality clauses, non-competition clauses, non-disparagement clauses, and other restrictions on the employee's freedoms.  To ensure your severance agreement is fair and reasonable, you should speak to an attorney with experience advising clients on severance agreements. 

The attorneys at Arckey & Associates, LLC have experience negotiating severance agreements in many employment contexts, including highly paid executives.

Some employers offer employees severance agreements when the employee is terminated, laid-off, or resigns.  While these severance agreements can be generous, most severance agreements waive your right to seek legal action for the employer's unlawful actions.  

Severance agreements also frequently contain confidentiality clauses, non-competition clauses, non-disparagement clauses, and other restrictions on the employee's freedoms.  To ensure your severance agreement is fair and reasonable, you should speak to an attorney with experience advising clients on severance agreements. 

Arckey & Associates employment attorneys have experience negotiating severance agreements in many employment contexts, including highly paid executives.


Unemployment Benefits

If you've separated from your job, you may be eligible for unemployment benefits.  

Even if you quit or resigned, you still may qualify for unemployment benefits under some circumstances.  On your unemployment benefit application, how you explain the circumstances of your termination, lay-off, or resignation may impact how the unemployment benefits office judges your eligibility for unemployment benefits.  

If your initial application for unemployment benefits is denied, you may request a hearing with a hearing officer from the unemployment benefits office. There are procedural requirements for introducing evidence, like documents, emails, and photos, and limitations on what arguments you can make during the hearing.

An attorney with employment law experience can work with you to determine if you qualify for unemployment benefits and how best to present your case to the unemployment benefits office.  Our employment attorneys have significant experience representing unemployed individuals throughout the Denver metro area and Colorado at all stages of the unemployment process, including initial applications, hearings, and appeals to the Industrial Claims Appeals Office.


Pregnancy and Maternity Discrimination
 

If you are a nursing mother who wishes to pump breast milk at work, you have that right. The Affordable Care Act likely requires your employer to provide nursing mothers break time to pump breast milk for her child for one year after the child's birth. If you are a nursing mother, your employer must provide you with a place to pump breast milk that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from coworkers and the public.

Under the Family Medical Leave and the Colorado Family Care Act, parents including domestic spouses may also be entitled to time off of work to care for spouses and children under certain circumstances. 

If your employer has prevented you from pumping breast milk or refuses to provide you with a private place to pump breast milk, contact one of our employment attorneys about your rights under the law.


Whistleblowers

The employment attorneys at Arckey & Associates LLC are knowledgeable regarding your rights and the law and can assist you with reinstatement or recovering damages for retaliatory acts.


State Employees in Colorado
 

Colorado whistleblowers who are state employees are protected from discipline or penalty for their disclosure of state agency actions that violate the public interest. 

State employees are encouraged to report waste and mismanagement of public funds, abuses of government authority and illegal and unethical practices.  

Whistleblowers are protected from disciplinary action such as dismissal, demotion, transfer, reassignment, suspension, corrective action, reprimand, admonishment, unsatisfactory or below standard performance evaluation, reduction in force, or withholding of work, or the threat of any such discipline or penalty.  

A whistleblower complaint for a Colorado state employee must be filed within 10 days of the discipline or penalty with the State Personnel Board.  Employees can receive reinstatement, back pay, restoration of lost service credit, and expungement of the records of the employee who disclosed information, costs and attorney’s fees.

  
Federal Employees

Federal whistleblowers who disclose a violation of a law, rule or regulation, gross mismanagement, gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority, or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety are protected from retaliation including any personnel action taken against the employee such as termination or other decisions affecting pay and benefits, undesired reassignments, negative performance evaluations, or a significant change in duties responsibilities or working conditions.

Whistleblower protection is now available to those who report information that has already been disclosed, those who disclose conduct to co-workers or a supervisor or make disclosures verbally, those who disclose the consequences of a policy decision or blow the whistle while off duty, or during the normal course of an employee’s duties.  Federal employees can be reinstated, or receive back pay, medical costs, travel costs, compensatory damages including expert fees and costs and attorney’s fees.  Some claims otherwise appealable may be appealed directly to the Merit Systems Protection Board within 30 days. 

Other personnel actions must first be investigated by the Office of Special Counsel. 

Private Employee Whistleblowers

If you are terminated after asserting an employee benefit or a right or for refusing to participate in an illegal activity, you may have a claim for wrongful termination for which you may receive lost pay and emotional distress damages.  A wrongful termination in violation of public policy claim must be filed within two years.

Complaints must be filed with OSHA within 180 days.  More information is available at www.osha.gov. 

OSHA also enforces various laws that protect whistleblowers who report illegal conduct in industries such as transportation, environmental and consumer protection.  

 
Wage Claims and Overtime
 

Does your employer owe you money?  Was your paycheck short?  Did you receive one-and-a-half pay for working overtime? Is
your employer making you work through lunch?  Are you receiving breaks during the day?  

Did your employer pay all of your commissions or bonuses?  Did your employer fire you to avoid paying you a commission or bonus?  
Did you receive vacation pay when you were terminated?

The employment attorneys at Arckey & Associates LLC can help you receive the compensation you earned.  

CONTACT INFORMATION


Arckey & Associates
6465 Greenwood Plaza Boulevard
Suite 250
Centennial, Colorado 80111

(303) 798-8546     Office
(303)798-4637      Fax
1-866-503-9702    Toll Free

info@arlaw.us   Email

             

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