A common occurrence that can complicate the issue is when employers combine time-off categories and give it a name such as Paid Time Off (“PTO”), which includes both vacation and sick time. Even if your employer has combined time-off categories, there may be language in your employer’s policies and procedures that will still allow you to get paid for your unused vacation time. Another common problem is whether you are owed a bonus that you were typically paid, but you were terminated before payment was made. In these situations the language in your bonus plan, if there is one, and any other relevant employer policies and procedures will need to be reviewed to determine whether the bonus was earned, vested, and determinable. Lastly, commissions earned on sales or contracts entered into before your employment ends can also be hotly contested and analysis of your commission plan and other relevant employer policies will need to be done to determine whether you are owed those commissions.
If you believe that your employer has not paid you for wages you have earned or any other compensation such as vacation pay, bonuses, or commission then you must inform your employer in writing to preserve a right to penalties if the payment is late. The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has created a form that fulfills this requirement and it can be found here. You must deliver this form to your employer within 60 days of the last day of employment. Once your employer receives the form they have 14 days to make payment to you to avoid any penalties. If they fail to pay you at all or pay you after 14 days of receipt of the form, the employer may owe you penalties on the original amount they owed you. If you use an attorney during this process you can also possibly receive your attorney fees in pursuing this matter, however, you may have to file a lawsuit to pursue penalties and attorney fees. If you have any questions about whether your employer owes you wages or other compensation or need help in pursuing your unpaid wages and compensation, it is highly recommended that you contact an attorney.
By Jacob Allen