Date: 02/11/2009

BILL SUMMARY for HB09-1108


Votes: View--> Action Taken:

02:03 PM -- House Bill 09-1108

Representative A. Kerr, prime sponsor, presented House Bill 09-1108 concerning the failure of an employer's bank to honor an employee's paycheck upon presentment. This bill adds employee protections and employer penalties to the Colorado Wage Act. It addresses situations when an employee's paycheck is not honored by the employer's bank causing the employee's account to have insufficient funds to pay bills. If this occurs 2 or more times within a 24 month period, the director of the Department of Labor and Employment will issue a letter to the affected employee, stating the employee is not liable for damages (overdraft fees, insufficient check charges, late fees) from having insufficient funds. The director will also fine the employer $50 per day per employee.

02:05 PM

Representative A. Kerr distributed amendment L.001 (Attachment D). He said the amendment changes the bill from stating that the director "shall investigate complaints" to "may investigate complaints" which will impact the fiscal note because now the director does not have to investigate every complaint. The amendment would also allow the employee to recover actual damages caused by the nonpayment, including associated late fees in addition to the actual paycheck. Representative Soper asked about the $50 per day fee and whether it would be in the bill if the amendment passes. Representative A. Kerr stated the $50 fee is already in law. Representative Balmer asked why the bill is necessary if current law already provides remedies. Representative A. Kerr responded to the question and additional questions about the fiscal note if the amendment passes. Representative Ryden asked if the bill addresses civil cases and not criminal. Representative A. Kerr said the bill only addresses civil cases.


02:28 PM --
Michael McArdle, Director of the Division of Labor within the Department of Labor and Employment, provided information on the bill and responded to questions. He said the amendment would remove the fiscal impact. The director talked about the procedures they use to recover paychecks for employees. He said they usually advise employees to go to civil court to receive the additional damages. Representative Soper asked if the employer receives a bounced check for services that unintentionally causes paychecks to bounce, who would be at fault. Mr. McArdle stated he believed the person who wrote the initial bad check would be at fault. He responded to additional questions.

02:28 PM

Representative Casso stated that Chairman Rice would like to discuss the bill and laid it over until Tuesday, February 17 for action only.