NFIB Files Amicus Brief in Colorado Supreme Court Employment Case

Date: August 18, 2020

Carmen Nieto v. Clark’s Market concerns the Colorado Wage Claim Act and vacation time payouts

DENVER, Colo. (Aug. 18, 2020) – NFIB’s Legal Center filed an amicus brief in Carmen Nieto v. Clark’s Market, which concerns the Colorado Wage Claim Act and the payment of unused vacation time. NFIB supports Clark’s Market, arguing that the Colorado Wage Claim Act makes it clear that employers have the freedom to determine whether they will pay for unused vacation time when the employee leaves.

“This case is a small business issue to its core,” said Tony Gagliardi, NFIB’s Colorado State Director. “Vacation pay is a voluntary benefit that employers can provide to their working employees. It’s an additional expense and one that is truly an employee benefit. Employers, especially small business employers, have the right to determine their employment agreements.”

This case primarily concerns whether the Colorado Wage Claim Act allows an employment agreement to forfeit an employee’s accrued but unused vacation pay upon separation of employment. NFIB believes the Court should affirm the judgment in favor of Clark’s Market and uphold decades of judicial precedent, which allows employers to place conditions on the payout of vacation time upon separation of employment.

The Petitioner also urges the Court to overturn Hartman, Thompson, Cardona, and Hernandez in order to change the language of the statute and allow for all state employees to be entitled to convert any accumulated unused vacation time into cash upon separation. However, agencies have no authority to enact rules that conflict with the language of the statute nor do they have the authority to rewrite statutes.

NFIB filed the amicus brief with the Colorado Civil Justice League and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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