• New Colorado Law Addresses Wage Theft and Monitoring Requirements
  • February 20, 2015
  • Law Firm: Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh Jardine P.C. - Englewood Office
  • As of January 1, 2015, Colorado employers are obligated to comply with a series of new rules dictating how wages are tracked and the way in which wage theft complaints must be addressed. The new legislation, entitled the Colorado Wage Protection Act of 2014, represents a modified version of previously proposed legislation that also included criminal penalties for violations. These criminal provisions were removed from the final draft of the law, which passed through both chambers of the Colorado General Assembly and was eventually signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper.

    Pursuing unpaid wages from Colorado employers

    The act’s primary purpose is to aid employees in pursuit of unpaid wages and to expedite the process through which employees receive payment. The primary changes for employers under the terms of this new Colorado employment law include:

    • A time limit of 60 days within which employers must mail checks to employees’ last known address, starting from the date on which an employee was due payment;
    • An expansion of the scope of wage claims to encompass state minimum wage violations; and
    • Record keeping requirements that demand maintaining employee pay statement information for a minimum of three years after wage payments, with such records available to employees and the State.

    New willfulness threshold

    Under the new law, employers also face more stringent obligations with regard to employee demands for payment. Specifically, a written demand for payment now creates a rebuttable presumption that failure to pay is willful. Willfulness results in increases in penalties for employers. Similarly, small claims court complaint service now fulfills the requirement for a written demand.

    Other facets of the new law include authorization of the director of the Division of Labor in the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to create an administrative procedure to adjudicate wage claims amounting to $7,500 or less and to issue notices of assessments and citations for any amounts due. Decisions will be appealable to the appropriate district court.