May 16, 2019
Longmont, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed into law 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.
“Hardworking Coloradans deserve to be paid fairly and what they rightly earned,” said Senator Danielson. “We need to hold bad actors accountable for wage theft and give workers a way to take action, and that is exactly what this bill does.”
“Why should Coloradans be shortchanged by bad actors for their hard work? I am proud to see this bill, which will hold employers accountable and protect employees from being taken advantage of, signed into law,” said Senator Rodriguez.
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.
This bill passed the Senate on April 24, 2019 by a vote of 33-2 and passed the Colorado House of Representatives by a vote of 64-0 on April 10, 2019.
For more information on HB19-1267, please visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1267.