HR Management & Compliance

Colorado wage theft protection law takes effect in January

by Emily Hobbs-Wright

Most provisions of Colorado’s new Wage Protection Act, which establishes an administrative procedure to adjudicate wage claims under state law, will take effect January 1.

The law means that for wages and compensation earned on or after January 1, 2015, the Colorado Division of Labor may receive complaints and adjudicate claims for nonpayment of wages or compensation of $7,500 or less. A written demand for unpaid wages may come from or on behalf of an employee and is satisfied if a notice of complaint filed with the division is sent to the employer.

In addition to existing fines that may be levied against employers that fail to pay wages, the new law allows the director of the Division of Labor or a hearing officer to impose a fine of $250 on employers that fail to respond to a notice of complaint or any other notice from the division when a response is required.

Also, the act requires Colorado employers to keep payroll records, including the information contained in an employee’s itemized pay statement, for at least three years after payment of wages and to make such records available to the employee and the Division of Labor.

The new law provides for the recovery of reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs by an employee who recovers unpaid wages under Colorado’s minimum wage requirement.

For more information on the new law, see the May 2014 issue of Colorado Employment Law Letter.

Emily Hobbs-WrightEmily Hobbs-Wright is an attorney with Holland & Hart LLP in Denver, Colorado. She can be reached at