Hundreds of millions in unpaid wages for Coloradans

Mar 06 2014

$750 million is a staggering amount of money. It’s more than most people could spend in a lifetime, if not multiple lifetimes. However, it may surprise you to learn that $750 million is less than 1 percent of all the wages earned by people in Colorado in a given year — and it’s a figure that employers are filing to pay their employees.

Yes, roughly $750 million in unpaid wages have affected at least 500,000 workers — whether they know it or not — in Colorado. Usually these wages affect low-income workers and construction workers, as employers don’t pay, fail to pay the correct amount, illegally deduct wages from certain workers or simply misclassify employees to save the company a buck or two.

Unpaid wages is a serious problem, but the question many of you may be wondering is “why are we bringing this up on a workers’ compensation blog?” Well, one of the reasons that employers misclassify an employee to pay them less than what they want is to avoid paying someone workers’ comp, or contributing to workers’ comp taxes. This affects the entire system, let alone helpless employees who may hurt on the job and are denied crucial benefits due to a nefarious employee misclassification.

The direct issue this story address is unpaid wages. But in an indirect, and possibly greater, way, this story is about the abuse of the employment system. Employees deserve to be treated with respect and they deserve to have their rights upheld, especially in times of need. Workers’ compensation is one of these rights for many employees.

Source:, “Unpaid wages affect thousands of Colo. workers,” Ann King, March 4, 2014