Colorado law makes failure to pay wages a felony
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Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Colorado law makes failure to pay wages a felony

By Payroll and Entitlements Editorial Staff

A Colorado bill signed into law on May 16, and effective January 1, 2020, makes the failure to pay wages, and the intentional failure to pay the minimum wage, a theft. Such theft will be deemed a felony when the theft is of an amount greater than $2,000.

Under existing law, an employer who willfully commits wage theft or who pays an employee a wage less than the minimum wage is guilty of a misdemeanor.

The bill defines "employee" as any person who performs labor or services for the benefit of an employer, provides factors that are relevant for determining whether a person is an employee, and maintains the exclusions from the definition in existing law. The bill defines "employer" as having the same meaning as set forth in the federal "Fair Labor Standards Act", specifically includes foreign labor contractors and migratory field labor contractors or crew leaders in the definition, and maintains the exclusions from the definition in existing law. (H.B.1267, Laws 2019, approved May 16, 2019, effective as noted above.)

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