April 24, 2019
Denver, CO – The Colorado State Senate today voted 33-2 to Pass HB19-1267, Penalties For Failure To Pay Wages, a bill sponsored by Senators Jessie Danielson (D-Wheat Ridge) and Robert Rodriguez (D-Denver) to increase the punishment for employers who withhold or steal wages from employees. The bill now heads to Governor Polis for his signature.
“We need to make sure that workers are protected from bad actors who try to refuse hardworking Coloradans wages that were fairly earned,” said Senator Danielson. “This bill is about cracking down on wage theft, and giving workers a way to take action so that they don’t lose out on the money they deserve.”
“There is no reason why hardworking Coloradans should be shortchanged for their work,” said Senator Rodriguez. “That’s why we’re working to hold employers accountable and protect Colorado employees from being taken advantage of.”
HB19-1267 defines wage theft as theft, changing the crime from a misdemeanor to a felony if the wages owed are greater than $2,000. Further, if an employer intentionally pays a worker below the minimum wage, they are guilty of a felony when the lack of proper wage paid amounts to $2,000. Employers who are unable to pay wages due to bankruptcy or court action will no longer be exempt from criminal penalties.
For more information on HB19-1267, please visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1267.