Colorado is an “employment-at-will” state. Therefore, an employer may generally terminate an employment relationship at any time and for any reason. (Caution: A collective bargaining agreement, employment contract, existing law, or recognized public policy may place further limitations on an employer's right to summarily terminate an otherwise at-will relationship.)
Despite a strong presumption in favor of the at-will standard, however, the Colorado courts have held that statements contained in an employee handbook or policy manual may create an employment contract. For example, the courts have upheld employee contract claims when a personnel manual provided for progressive discipline for unauthorized absences and immediate discharge for dishonesty (Churchey v. Adolph Coors Co., 759 P.2d 1336 (Colo. 1988)).