There are significant legal protections for workers in Colorado who are owed money by an employer or former employer, or who have been denied overtime pay or other benefits. Depending on the type of employer-employee relationship, a worker may be able to file a lawsuit to recover wages under contract law, federal law, or the Colorado Wage Act.
Colorado Wage Act
The Colorado Wage Claim Act, also called the “Wage Act” (Co. Rev. Stat. Sec. 8-4-101 et seq.), is a Colorado state law that requires employers to pay employees earned wages in a timely manner.
The Colorado Wage Act offers protections to employees of all private sector employers in Colorado. This includes employees of partnerships, corporations, firms, and even migratory field labor contractors. However, the Wage Act does not apply to public sector employers, such as state or local governments, or to independent contractors.
Whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee is determined by the degree of control exercised over them by the employer. If the employer determines when, where, and how much labor or services are performed, the worker is likely a covered employee. If the employer does not have the right to control the manner in which the work is performed, an independent contractor relationship is likely.
The Colorado Wage Act governs the payment of wages to employees. Wages are defined under the Act as all earned, vested, and determinable amounts for labor or service. This can include bonuses and vacation pay, but does not include severance pay.
If the employer fails to pay the wages to the employee as required by the Act, the employee has the right to file a written demand. If the employer does pay the wages within 14 days of the demand, the employee may be able to recover a significant penalty by filing a civil lawsuit.
Contact a Colorado Employment Law Attorney
If you are owed pay, vacation time, or other benefits by an employer, it is important that you contact an employment law attorney as soon as possible. The attorneys at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP have experience in helping employees recover the wages they are owed. Likewise, if you are an employer who is faced with a potential lawsuit, HKM may be able to help.
Why wait to receive the wages you are owed? Contact an HKM Employment Attorney online or by calling or by calling 303-991-3075 for a private consultation.