Under Colorado law, if your former employer fails to pay you the wages and compensation that you are owed, you may be entitled to not just the payment of such wages and compensation, but also the award of a penalty against your former employer of between 50 to 100 percent of the amount of wages and compensation determined to be owed, interest on such unpaid wages and compensation, along with the possible award of the attorneys’ fees you incur in forcing your former employer to pay the amount owed. However, the Colorado Wage Act requires that appropriate prior written notice be provided to your former employer of the alleged amount owed before you assert a claim against your former employer and the Colorado Wage Act may entitle your former employer to the award of its attorneys’ fees against you if you wrongly claim that you are entitled to wages and compensation. See C.R.S. § 8-4-101 et. seq. As a result, it is helpful to obtain knowledgeable legal advice before asserting a claim under the Colorado Wage Act to help assure that you are taking appropriate measures under the law to both protect you and entitle you to the possible award of all wages and compensation to which you may be entitled.
Under the Colorado Wage Act, in addition to your regular pay, wages and compensation may include unpaid amounts owed under an incentive compensation plan or an unpaid stock or cash bonus. However, such unpaid amounts must be fully earned and vested at the time of your termination of employment. In addition, things like unpaid vacation pay may be counted towards the amount of wages and compensation that you are owed upon termination. It should also be kept in mind that you may be entitled to the award of penalties and your attorneys’ fees under the Colorado Wage Act even if it is you, and not your former employer, who decides to terminate your employment.
At Hansen Law Firm, we can help you navigate your exit from your current and/or former employer. We can send the appropriate prior written notice under the Colorado Wage Act to help you get paid the wages and compensation that you are owed, and if the former employer does not pay all such wages and compensation owed to you within the 14 day time period allotted under the Colorado Wage Act, we can file and pursue a claim under the Colorado Wage Act on your behalf to help attempt to obtain what you are owed. We can also help you know your rights and obligations under any employment agreement and/or non-compete agreement you may have signed or are being asked to sign and we can help you evaluate any severance agreement you have been provided before you sign it. To schedule a free consultation, call 303-720-7566.