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December 13, 2023

Majority Leader Duran to Receive Award for Advocacy Against Wage Theft

Denver, CO – Majority Leader Monica Duran will receive the Carpenters Tool Bag Award this evening from the Southwest Mountain States Regional Council of Carpenters to celebrate her advocacy to prevent wage theft.

“Coloradans rely on every dollar they earned to afford their rent, groceries, and other necessities, and wage theft makes it even more difficult for Coloradans to afford their bills,” said Majority Leader Monica Duran, D-Wheat Ridge. “I’m honored to receive this award celebrating the laws we’ve passed to ensure  Coloradans receive the money they’ve earned and to hold violators accountable. I am committed to continue championing workers’ rights to ensure that Colorado has the protections our workers deserve.”

Majority Leader Duran sponsored SB22-161, ensuring Colorado workers are able to recover legally-earned wages. The law also modernizes Colorado’s wage enforcement procedures by streamlining the enforcement of wage theft laws and expanding the Department of Labor and Employment’s ability to investigate wage violators. She also voted to approve a 2019 law that makes withholding or stealing wages a criminal offense.

A 2022 report by the Colorado Fiscal Institute found that nearly 440,000 low-wage Colorado workers experience $728 million in wage theft annually. Workers of color and women are most likely to be victims of wage theft, and the most common industries for wage theft are retail, construction, and food service.

Wage theft can include not paying workers minimum wage, non-payment of wages, misclassifying workers as independent contractors or as management to avoid paying overtime and taking tips that were meant for the employees.

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