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Penalties For Failure To Pay Wages

Concerning criminal offenses for failure to pay wages, and, in connection therewith, implementing recommendations from the Colorado human trafficking council.
2019 Regular Session
Business & Economic Development
Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement
Bill Summary

Theft - wages - failure to pay wages - paying less than the minimum wage. The act defines wage theft as theft, which is a felony when the theft is of an amount greater than $2,000. The act adds refusing to pay wages or compensation with the intent to coerce a person who is owed wages as conduct that constitutes wage theft. The act removes the exemption from criminal penalties for an employer who is unable to pay wages or compensation because of a chapter 7 bankruptcy action or other court action resulting in the employer having limited control over his or her assets.

The act defines "employee" as any person who performs labor or services for the benefit of an employer and provides factors that are relevant for determining whether a person is an employee. The act defines "employer" as having the same meaning as set forth in the federal "Fair Labor Standards Act" and specifically includes foreign labor contractors and migratory field labor contractors or crew leaders in the definition.

The act defines intentionally paying a wage less than the minimum wage as theft, which is a felony when the theft is of an amount greater than $2,000.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)


Became Law


Bill Text

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details