Colorado State Archives
Executive Orders from the Administration of Governor Bill Owens 1999-2005
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am filing with the Secretary of State House Bill 05-1179, "Concerning an Increase in the Amount of Damages for which an Employer may be Liable to an Employee After Written Demand for Payment of a Determinable Amount of Vested Wages." I vetoed this bill as of 11:03 a.m. today and this letter sets forth my reasons for doing so.
H.B. 1179 creates a sliding scale to increase the damages due for non-payment of wages. Currently, employers who refuse to pay wages upon written demand must pay the wages due plus 50 percent. Few employers knowingly disobey the law. The facts show that failure to pay wages is usually based on a misunderstanding between the parties involved. Even if an employer knowingly refused to pay wages, there is not a compelling need to change the current substantial penalty for such a violation.
Accordingly, I have vetoed this bill.
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