In the conversation the employee baited the mgr with subjects and responses he knew would elicit a response from the mgr. In the course if the baiting, the mgr lost his temper and used profanity to make is point regarding the employees specific job and implicit responsibility. Employee took the recording (possibly edited) and emailed it to hr. Is this baiting practice and "evidence" admissible to contribute to the firing of a mgr under current co corp law, with a history of the highest performance, highest performing teams, no history of complaints and exceptional performance reviews throughout history with the corporation?
Mr. Leroi is correct about the legality of recording the conversation, but that isn't actually the issue you asked about.
Generally, in the absence of binding employment policies, an employment contract, or a collective bargaining agreement, an employer can terminate an employee for any reason or for not reason at all so long as the actual reason for the firing is not unlawful discrimination based upon a protected class such as race, religion, national orignin, old age, disability, or the like.
What this means is, that regardless of whether the recording is admissible in court or not, if the employer believes that the profane outburst was disturbing enough to fire the manager over, the employer is entitled to do just that unless there is a binding policy or employment agreement which requires something more. Unless there is a violation of an employment policy or contract or evidence of unlawful discrimination, the matter will never end up in court.
You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or [email protected] Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.
In CO, only one of the parties to a conversation needs to know that the conversation is being recorded. If neither party knows, then law enforcement must have applied for a search warrant for a wiretap, which has to also be reported annually to the federal government as well.
CO is also an at-will employment state. Employers can fire employee, unless their contract say differently, for any reason or no specified reason. Such is regardless of the spotless record and great reviews.
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