By Doug Chartier, LAW WEEK COLORADO
With fresh labor law changes and renewed attention to the issue of wage theft, now may be an especially good time for businesses to review their compensation practices.
New amendments to the Colorado Wage Claim Act went into effect at the start of the year, strengthening the Colorado Division of Labor’s ability to levy wage theft penalties and increasing the fines employers must pay for violations.
Also in January, Rocky Mountain PBS I-News reported “rampant” wage theft in Colorado and that employers in the state, across an array of industries, illegally withheld over $31 million in wages since 2005.
That figure, however, casts a wider net of Colorado Wage Claim Act violations than many people realize; the Department of Labor may be categorizing nearly any failure to pay wages as wage theft, said Anthony George, partner at Bryan Cave’s Denver office. His practice focuses on management-side labor relations, employment law and related litigation. He added that while indeed some employers withhold wages deliberately, most who run afoul of the Colorado Wage Claim Act in some form or another do so out of negligence.