Danielson: Creating wage theft transparency

Column by Jessie Danielson

Imagine working hard at your job, then discovering that you’ve been cheated out of your wages or benefits when your paycheck arrives. You may have personally experienced something similar – not being paid for overtime worked, having to work off the clock, or other wage law violations.

Perhaps the worse part is that under current state law, employers found guilty of wage theft are shielded from the public eye because an obsolete law classifies wage theft as a “trade secret.”

I believe that is wrong. Hardworking Coloradans deserve better, and the public deserves to know about employers who unfairly cheat their workers. That is why I have introduced the Wage Theft Transparency Act, HB17-1021, which will do away with the 100-year-old state law that shields these companies. Not only will it help workers, but it will even the playing field for the vast majority of Colorado businesses who do not violate wage laws Most companies across the state treat their workers fairly. Most companies and employers do not violate the law or the rights of their employees. They know that hard work should be compensated and good employees are critical to their companies’ success.

That’s why the public, employees and fellow companies that treat their employees right deserve to know about bad actors who cheat their employees to get an edge on their competition. The Wage Theft Transparency Act is one important step towards leveling the playing field for hardworking Coloradans – when so often the system seems rigged against us.

State Rep. Jessie Danielson serves House District 24, which includes Golden, Wheat Ridge and other Jefferson County communities. She is Speaker Pro Tem of the State House. To find find out more about Rep. Danielson’s community events or to talk to her directly, call her cell at 720-276-3468 or visit www.jessiedanielson.com.

op-edRachel Caine