The Colorado Wage Act (C.R.S. 8-4-101 et seq.) requires Colorado employers to pay employees their earned wages in a timely manner. The Wage Act is commonly referred to as the Colorado Wage Law or Colorado Wage Claim Act. The Colorado Wage Act allows an employee who has been terminated from employment to sue his or her former employer for earned wages and other compensation the employer has refused to pay. See C.R.S. § 8–4–109. An employee may recover wages and compensation under the Colorado Wage Act if he or she complies with certain procedural steps. In particular, if an employer refuses to pay all wages or compensation earned and vested through the employee’s last day of employment, to bring a claim the employee must:
- Make a written demand within 60 days after the date of separation specifying where to send the wages.
- If the employee’s earned wages are not mailed to the place specified in the demand and postmarked within 14 days after the receipt of the demand, the employer shall be liable for the wages and a significant penalty that may meet or exceed 125% of the amount owed or up to 10 days of compensation, whichever is greater.
If the employee complies with those steps and the employer refuses to pay, the employee may recover penalties in addition to the unpaid compensation, but the employee must file a lawsuit to obtain those penalties. The Colorado Wage Act allows a court to award costs and attorney fees to the prevailing party on a Colorado Wage Act claim. The 2007 amendment to the Colorado Wage Act provides:
If, in any action, the employee fails to recover a greater sum than the amount tendered by the employer, the court may award the employer reasonable costs and attorney fees incurred in such action […] . If, in any such action in which the employee seeks to recover any amount of wages or compensation, the employee recovers a sum greater than the amount tendered by the employer, the court may award the employee reasonable costs and attorney fees incurred in such action.
If you have been terminated and not paid all your earned wages, contact Denver Employment Lawyer Gregory A. Hall to discuss your case: