Employers must pay their employees a fair wage for their labor. If employers fail to do so, that may potentially be wage theft.
However, employers and employees may arrange or declare wage deductions. In this case, it is important to understand which wage deductions are and are not legal in the state of Colorado.
Permissible wage deductions
Employers and employees may enter into an agreement regarding wage deductions for one reason or another. This may be for loans or equipment payments. An employee may also request deductions for insurance, charities or union dues. Colorado allows for these consensual, documented arrangements.
Colorado may also require certain deductions for taxes, court-ordered garnishments or other deductions stipulated by law.
Impermissible wage deductions
Colorado law considers many retaliatory wage deductions impermissible. These include deductions over property damage, fines to punish employee behavior or compensation as a result of customers failing to pay. One niche situation that the state government allows is for an employer to deduct a certain amount to recuperate loss if an employee steals something.
Employer and employee protections
If any wage deduction on a paycheck seems confusing or improper, Colorado has a department capable of investigating these claims. Complying with an investigation requires patience, understanding and an ability to provide adequate evidence of whether a claim stands up in court.
For employees facing potential wage theft, it is important to learn more about their unique wage deduction case. For employers, it is important to make sure any and all deductions have reliable documentation to back them up. For anyone seeking to research more, there are resources available.