The Sawaya Law Firm wage & hour attorneys David Miller, Leslie Pagett and Monica Guardiola participated in Law Line 9 on the morning of March 4, 2014. Joining them, were staff members of the Colorado Department of Labor and a Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver professor. The segment focused on wage and hour issues.
Law Line 9 is designed to offer free legal information and suggestions to viewers who call in on where the individual may go for legal assistance. It is designed to aid understanding of legal issues, but not to provide specific legal advice for individual circumstances. For the full segment, please click here: //www.9news.com/story/money/2014/03/04/unpaid-wages-colorado-workers/6008353/.
According to a recent report published by the Colorado Fiscal Institute, Coloradans are losing an estimated $750 million a year in pay and benefits from nonpayment of lawfully owed wages. More than 500,000 workers are affected in Colorado, many of them in construction jobs and in the hotel and food service industry. Wage nonpayment happens in different forms: unpaid overtime, underpayment of wages, misclassification of employees, deduction violations and tipped job abuse. The lost pay translates into $5.2 million in lost income tax for the state and between $20 million and $42 million in lost sales tax revenue for Colorado. For the full report please click here: //www.coloradofiscal.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Wage-Nonpayment-in-Colorado-Final.pdf.
In response to these statistics, the Colorado State legislature has introduced Senate Bill 14-005, currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The bill provides a remedy for individuals who have not been paid properly. It is sponsored by Senator Ulibarri and Representatives Singer and Duran. Under current law, employees must threaten to or must file a lawsuit for unpaid wages. This bill establishes an administrative process to handle wage claim cases and to investigate and adjudicate all wage claims up to $7,500 or less. For the full bill please click here: //www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2014a/csl.nsf/fsbillcont3/2333337AE3E45A5A87257C3000061C06?Open&file=005_01.pdf.
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