Colorado: Employers Can Face Potential Criminal Charges for Wage Violations


All FLSA Employers with CO Employees


January 1, 2020


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Employers who commit wage theft may be subject to increased penalties mandated in Colorado’s criminal theft statute, because HB19-1267 recently redefined “wage theft” as “criminal theft.” Specifically, willfully refusing to pay wages or falsely denying the amount of a wage claim is considered misdemeanor petty theft. If the wage amount is over $2,000, the violation is felony theft. By treating wage theft as a criminal act, employer fines (currently at $300 for failure to pay wages, or $500 for failure to pay minimum wage) could range from $50 to $1 million, depending on the circumstances of the crime.  This bill applies to all employers who are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

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