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Increasing Protections for Minor Workers

Concerning protection for minor workers in the "Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act of 1971", and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
2024 Regular Session
Children & Domestic Matters
Crimes, Corrections, & Enforcement
Labor & Employment
Bill Summary

The bill increases penalties for violations of the "Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act of 1971" (act) and requires that the penalties be deposited into the wage theft enforcement fund. Entities that violate the act must also pay specified damages to the individual who is aggrieved. The bill eliminates a provision in current law penalizing a person, having legal responsibility for a minor, who knowingly permits the minor to be employed in violation of the act.

The director of the division of labor standards and statistics (director) is required to include a description of the penalties and damages owed in the written notice issued to an employer if the act is violated.

The division of labor standards and statistics (division ) may reduce or decline to impose penalties or damages for violations of the act if:

  • The minor worker intentionally misled the employer with regard to the minor's age; and
  • The employer engaged in outreach to a reliable third party to verify the minor worker's age if any reasonable employer could have believed that the minor worker might be under 18 years of age at the time of hiring. The bill specifies that the receipt of an age certificate issued by the school superintendent of the district or county in which the worker resides constitutes outreach to a reliable third party.

The division of labor standards and statistics is required to treat all final orders issued for violations of the act as public records and to release information related to a violation to the public upon request pursuant to the "Colorado Open Records Act", unless the director makes a determination that the information is a trade secret.

The director may, or, at the request of the individual aggrieved, must, file a certified copy of a final order for a violation of the act with the clerk of any court having jurisdiction over the parties at any time after the entry of the order.

The bill applies the state's discrimination and retaliation prohibitions to individuals attempting to exercise rights protected by the act and creates a rebuttable presumption of retaliatory action if an entity engages in adverse action against an individual aggrieved within 90 calendar days after the individual aggrieved exercises a right protected by the act.

For the 2024-25 state fiscal year, $125,255 is appropriated to the department of labor and employment for use by the division to implement the bill.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)


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