Misclassification of Workers: Wage Theft in Colorado Construction

In a news segment with Noticias Colorado, Executive Director Nina DiSalvo speaks with reporters about the growing issue of wage theft in the Colorado construction industry. In the segment, Ms. DiSalvo and reporters describe the practice of worker misclassification, through which construction companies erroneously label and pay employees as “independent contractors”, thus allowing them to avoid legal responsibilities to their workers.

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Our Founding and Growth

2015.07.02-UVA-Lawyer-Pic-e1435857597913.jpgThe UVA Lawyer reports that Three from Class of 2006 work “Towards Justice” in Denver, describing Towards Justice’s founding and rapid transformation into a leading innovator involved in addressing systemic injustice through impact litigation.

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Partnership With El Centro Humanitario


The Colorado Independent describes Towards Justice’s ongoing fight against wage theft in Colorado and the effective partnership it has developed with El Centro Humanitario in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver.

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Meet our Director of Litigation: Alex Hood


Towards Justice co-founder and Director of Litigation Alex Hood speaks with The Docket about why he became a lawyer, his favorite restaurant in Denver, and what he does to de-stress. In addition to his tremendous legal work, Alex’s sense of humor keeps Towards Justice running!

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Media Coverage: Towards Justice on I-News


Executive Director Nina DiSalvo and Director of Litigation Alex Hood discuss wage theft on I-News’ Colorado State of Mind. Alex explains that Towards Justice was founded to assist the immigrant community in Colorado, and quickly discovered the gap in legal services available to victims of wage theft. Nina explains that, since she joined Towards Justice in May 2014, the organization has focused on class and collective action cases that highlight systemic problems in the labor market. Finally, Alex emphasizes the types of systemic violations that the organization has confronted, and the challenges in identifying wage theft when it happens to you.

Increased Access to Justice for Undocumented Immigrants


Towards Justice announces a victory for undocumented immigrants who need to access federal court in forma pauperis. The in forma pauperis statute was intended to allow indigents access to the courts, but a vestigial social security number requirement on the in forma pauperis affidavit undermined that purpose by deterring poor, undocumented immigrants from seeking justice in court. At Towards Justice’s urging, the United States Courts removed that unnecessary requirement, and dramatically expanded access to justice. “Creating the perception that a social security number was required for an indigent person to file a claim in federal court was a barrier to justice for some of the most vulnerable among us,” explained Towards Justice Director of Litigation Alexander Hood. “Now, in every federal court in all 50 states, that barrier has been removed.”

The Scope of Wage Theft in Colorado: Towards Justice’s Mission


Rocky Mountain PBS-I News describes the scope of the wage theft problem in Colorado, and raises concern about the lack of enforcement of wage and hour laws. Quoted therein, Towards Justice Executive Director Nina DiSalvo says that “Allowing wage theft to remain unchecked affects us all. Work is the foundation of success in America, and if we all believe in that, then we must all fight back against wage theft.”

Changing the Rules: Testifying Before the Colorado Department of Labor

2014.11.04-Hood-Testifying-on-Wage-Order-31-B4-CDLE1.jpgTowards Justice Director of Litigation Alex Hood testified before the Colorado Department of Labor and Education on proposed Wage Order #31. Executive Director Nina DiSalvo followed, presenting Towards Justice’s comments on the proposed Wage Protection Act Rules. These regulations impact not only who is entitled to state minimum wage in Colorado, but also how victims of wage theft can seek redress through the new adjudicative process created by the Wage Protection Act. That process goes into effect in January 2015, and Towards Justice is working diligently to encourage effective and thoughtful implementation at the Colorado Department of Labor and Education.

Stories of our Clients on Telemundo

2014.09.04-Telemundo-Pic-e1414176990496-1024x797.jpegTowards Justice client Imelda Pacheco and Executive Director Nina DiSalvo both appeared on a segment on Telemundo explaining the dangers of wage theft.  Imelda, a Laundromat employee, described her difficulty collecting the wages she was owed by her employer, and the employer’s threat of reporting her to immigration authorities if she insisted on being paid for her work.  Nina explained that this scenario is unfortunately common in Colorado, but Towards Justice is here to help ensure that workers receive minimum wage and/or overtime payments as required by law. 

The Diversity of Towards Justice’s Work: The Burlingame Case



Towards Justice represents four construction workers who worked on the Burlingame Phase II affordable housing project financed by the city of Aspen in a suit against three of the project’s contractors. The case alleges that the workers weren’t paid for some of their work and were never paid overtime when they worked more than 40 hours per week.