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Bipartisan bill to stop pilfering paychecks advances in Senate

Author: Dan Njegomir - March 21, 2017 - Updated: June 6, 2017

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A decent wage is hard enough to come by in some lines of work, so state lawmakers are cracking down on employers who cross the line by shortchanging their workers on overtime or forcing them to work on their own time.

The “Wage Theft Transparency Act,” sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Jessie Danielson of Wheat Ridge and Republican state Sen. John Cooke of Greeley, fine-tunes current law on the subject, establishing data on wage theft violations as public information and requiring the Division of Labor to release any findings upon request, regardless of proprietary information.

House Bill 1021, which already has passed the House, unanimously cleared the Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee on Thursday. A press release from ruling Senate Republicans quotes Cooke:

“If you’re not paying overtime, if you’re forcing employees to work off the clock, if you’re paying less than minimum wage you are purposefully breaking the law..Wage theft harms hardworking Coloradans who often don’t have the resources to defend themselves, so we’re going to stand up for them. We’ve heard from the business community on this and we’re optimistic. Most of our Colorado businesses are good actors who care for their employees, but those few who don’t should know that we’re watching them.”

Wage theft can include tactics like failure to pay overtime, minimum wage violations, employee misclassification, illegal deductions in pay, working off the clock or not being paid at all.

The legislation now faces the full Senate.

 

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir

Dan Njegomir is a blogger and opinion editor for Colorado Politics. A longtime journalist and more-than-25-year veteran of the Colorado political scene, Njegomir has been an award-winning newspaper reporter, an editorial page editor, a senior legislative staffer at the State Capitol and a political consultant.


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