Wage Theft Summit
Wage Theft Undermines Economic Growth, Law-Abiding Businesses and Colorado Workers –
The Colorado Wage Theft Task Force Brings Community Together for first-ever Wage Theft Summit
What is wage theft, why is it an increasing problem, and how are policymakers, the labor movement, employers, students and workers attempting to combat it? Colorado’s first-ever Wage Theft Summit—the product of the Colorado Wage Theft Task Force and its many constituents—brings together members of these groups to discuss the pressing problem of wage justice in Colorado.
Wage theft is a huge problem in our state. More than $750 million dollars are stolen from Colorado workers each year through wage theft; victimizing over half a million workers. While wage theft plagues all sectors of our economy, it leaves particularly enduring effects on low-income workers’ finances, health, and well-being. The Colorado Wage Theft Task Force views combating wage theft as essential to ensuring economic fairness in Colorado. “As momentum is building around wage justice in Colorado and the importance of considering new policy tools to ensure economic fairness, this is a particularly opportune moment to bring all stakeholders involved in the issue to the table,” said Sarah Horton, Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Colorado, Denver, and a member of the Task Force.
The Summit kicked-off with roundtable discussions featuring CO House Representative Jonathan Singer, city and state representatives charged with enforcing wage theft measures, the Colorado Health Institute, the Colorado Fiscal Institute, employment attorneys, and business owners like Co-Sponsor and Task Force member Sky Blue Builders. On Friday, November 11, Co-Sponsor Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck, LLP presented general training and industry breakout sessions for employers designed to demystify some of the complexities of wage and hour law. Additionally, to support workers and victims of wage theft, Co-Sponsor and Task Force member Towards Justice hosted “Know Your Rights” training and a “Just Wages Navigator” training for community members interested in taking action against wage theft. The Summit wrapped up with a keynote address from Kim Bobo, the author of Wage Theft in America. (Full agenda below)
According to Rebecca Galemba, Assistant Professor of International Development at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver, and a member of the Task Force, “Bringing diverse stakeholders and the community together is imperative. Combatting wage theft necessitates that the public take a stand so that wage injustice is no longer accepted as inevitable and tolerable.”
A Clip from the Summit on Telemundo