Wage theft is an economic crisis that hurts our workers and responsible businesses. Wage theft occurs when an employer fails to pay an employee what was promised or what is legally required. Common occurrences of wage theft are forcing an employee to work off the clock, failing to pay overtime, or not paying at all. Wage theft is illegal but many affected workers have difficulty using the law to bring their employers to justice and reclaim unpaid wages.
Law abiding businesses are at a competitive disadvantage up against businesses that practice wage theft. Everyone in our communities are hurt when workers don’t have enough money to provide for basic needs like groceries and medical care.
In 2010, IWJ-CO launched a wage theft taskforce, bringing together government officials, worker advocates, and lawyers for coordinated wage theft prevention and resolution. IWJ-CO garnered national attention for this innovative and successful collaboration.
In 2011, it became clear that Colorado’s current laws, even if perfectly applied with a coordinated enforcement system, would not be enough to protect workers, particularly vulnerable workers, from wage theft at the hands of unscrupulous employers. So IWJ-CO launched a legislative campaign to strengthen our laws on behalf of and alongside wage theft victims. FRESC and IWJ-CO have led coalition efforts during the 2012 and 2013 sessions and are poised to deliver public policy reforms with and for wage theft victims.
Currently, FRESC is leading the Wage Protection coalition supporting Senate Bill 5, the Wage Protection Action. The bill creates a process that is easier for workers to access through the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment (CDLE). It will deter wage theft by giving CDLE the ability to assess fines (& reduce them for employers who fix the problem promtly). The bill is currently in the appropriations process in the Colorado state senate. For more information check out our fact sheet.
More On End Wage Theft:
Read the Denver Business Journal’s coverage of our wage theft victory here.More
Read more Aurora Sentinel coverage here.More