Monday, January 19, 2015
By Rocky Mountain PBS I-News & Anna Boiko-Weyrauch
From telemarketers to tortilla manufacturers, workers in myriad industries have suffered from employers failing to pay them wages they are owed, a Rocky Mountain PBS I-News investigation has found.
While blue-collar workers are most frequently cheated, workers across pay-scales in Colorado are vulnerable to wage theft – a term for employers illegally withholding wages – an analysis of federal enforcement data shows.
Since 2005, the federal Department of Labor has recovered more than $31 million in wages that had been illegally withheld by employers in Colorado in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Across the U.S. the amount of illegally withheld wages was more than $1.4 billion for the same period.
Under the Colorado Wage Claim Act, employers who cheat workers out of wages can face a misdemeanor charge, $300 fine and 30 days in a county jail – penalties the General Assembly put in place in 1941 that have not changed since.