Colorado Rights Blog

SB14-005: Wage Protection Act

Racial Justice
Bill Number: SB14-005
Year: 2014
ACLU Position: Support
Sponsors: Singer/Duran, Ulibarri


For purposes of duties, obligations, and liabilities related to the payment of wages, the bill: • Expands wage claims to include violations involving the state minimum wage; • Requires an employer to maintain records reflecting information in an employee’s pay statement for at least 3 years after payment of the wages and to make the records available to the employee and the division of labor in the department of labor and employment (division). The bill authorizes the executive director of the division to impose a fine on an employer who fails to retain or make available
the records. • Requires an employer to mail a check for wages to the employee’s last-known address within 60 days after the check was due if an employer is unable to otherwise deliver the check to the employee.

Under current law, to recover penalties in an action for unpaid wages, an employee is required to make a written demand on his or her
employer to recover penalties, and the penalties are increased by 50% if the employer’s failure to pay is willful. The bill: • Provides that failure to respond to a written demand creates a rebuttable presumption that the failure to pay was willful; • Provides that service of a small claims court complaint serves as the written demand; and • Reduces the penalties for failing to pay wages by 50% if the employer makes legal tender to the employee of the amount that the employer believes in good faith is due the employee.

The bill authorizes the director of the division to establish an administrative procedure to adjudicate wage claims. For wage claims filed with the division for $7,500 or less, the bill establishes procedures for the division to adjudicate the claim and issue citations and notices of assessments for the amounts due. A person dissatisfied with a decision may commence a de novo civil action in any county or district court of competent jurisdiction.

Current law provides that fines collected by the division are deposited in the general fund. The bill provides that the fines are deposited in a new wage theft enforcement fund.

The bill provides that an employee is entitled to reasonable attorney fees in an action to recover the minimum wage.

Current Status:

05/05/2014 - Senate Considered House Amendments - Result was to Concur - Repass
05/02/2014 - House Second Reading Special Order - Passed with Amendments - Committee, Floor
04/29/2014 - House Committee on Business, Labor, Economic, & Workforce Development Refer Amended to Appropriations
04/22/2014 - Introduced In House
04/17/2014 - Senate Third Reading Passed - No Amendments
04/11/2014 - Senate Committee on Appropriations Refer Amended to Senate Committee of the Whole
02/04/2014 - Senate Committee on Finance Refer Amended to Appropriations
01/22/2014 - Senate Committee on Judiciary Refer Amended to Finance
01/08/2014 - Introduced In Senate - Assigned to Judiciary

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