Colorado’s Wage Protection Act and Retaliation

On January 1, 2015, the major changes set out in the Wage Protection Act will go into effect. Current and former employees will be able to bring wage claims against their employers under this new statute and will have the option to participate in the State’s new administrative adjudication process. In addition to the new processes and rules set out under the Act, it is also important for employers to remember that current employees will be protected from discrimination and retaliation if they make a complaint or assert their rights under the Wage Protection Act.

The Colorado Wage Act explains that employers may not “intimidate, threaten, restrain, coerce, blacklist, discharge, or in any manner discriminate against any employee” who asserts their rights under the Wage Act. C.R.S. § 8-4-120. A violation of this section is defined as a misdemeanor crime. Since the Wage Protection Act amends and adds to the Wage Act, employers should ensure that employees who discuss or pursue their rights under any part of the Wage Act, including the new Wage Protection Act complaint and administrative processes, are not discriminated or retaliated against. As part of this effort, employers should make sure that supervisors are aware of the Wage Protection Act and are trained to prevent any unlawful acts from being directed at an employee who pursues his or her rights under the Wage Act.

For more information about the Wage Protection Act, MSEC is offering a webinar on December 17. Click here for more information and to register.