On May 16, 2019, Colorado House Bill 19-1267 was signed into law and will be effective January 1, 2020. The law makes an employers’ failure to pay wages and the intentional failure to pay the minimum wage a theft and punishable as a felony.
EXISTING LAW VERSUS NEW LAW
Under present day law, an employer who pays an employee wages less than the minimum wage is guilty of a misdemeanor. Under the new bill, an employer who intentionally pays wages less than the minimum wage commits theft, which is treated as a felony when the theft is greater than $2,000. The new bill also prohibits wage theft with the intent to harass or coerce a person who is owed wages.
The new bill removes the employer exemption from criminal penalties for an employer who is unable to pay wages or compensation by reason of a chapter 7 bankruptcy action or other court action that results in the employer having limited control over his or her assets.
If you wish to review Colorado HB19-1267 in more detail, please visit the Colorado General Assembly website by following this link: https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1267.
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This information is provided as a courtesy, may change and is not intended as legal or tax guidance. Employers with questions or concerns outside the scope of a Payroll Service Provider are encouraged to seek the advice of a qualified CPA, Tax Attorney or Advisor.