Denver Labor, a division of the Denver Auditors office, has recovered over $1.4 million in unpaid back wages during the first half of 2023, an unprecedented amount in the time since data first became available in 2014. To put this figure in context, last year, the Auditors office recuperated $1,101,738 for the entire 2022 reporting period.
In 2019, the Denver City Council unanimously approved the Citywide Minimum Wage Ordinance, which establishes a Denver minimum wage above the state level, tied to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W). And this year, the Denver Auditor's Office was granted a new set of penalties and procedures through the Denver Wage Theft Ordinance to better combat wage theft. Workers denied promised wages, overtime pay, or being forced to work while not on the clock is civil wage theft.
“Every dollar matters to the people who earned that money, and no case is too small for us to investigate,” Denver Auditor Timothy M. O’Brien said in a press release.
The amount was disbursed among 2,810 individuals. 1,646 fell under minimum wage and civil wage theft regulations, and 1,164 fell under prevailing wage regulations. Through August, Denver Labor has reconciled investigations for 40 civil wage theft and minimum wage cases.
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