Laborer in bib overalls digging a fire pit

(Photo: Courtesy of David Goehring)
Democratic lawmakers have introduced legislation to protect workers who think their employers are not paying them fairly. .

The bill would beef up investigations into wage theft the by Department of Labor and Employment.

Senator Jessie Ulibarri (D-Adams County) says a recent study found the problem costs Colorado workers $750 million a year.

“There should be an easy way for them to file a complaint, and have someone investigate it and if the claim is valid then the employee should be able to get their wages back,” Ulibarri said. 

Ulibarri says workers file about 5000 wage theft complaints each year, from non-payment of wages, to not being paid for overtime, to miscalculation of tips.

The bill's opponents argue there are other ways for workers to seek unpaid wages, such as going to court.