Wage Claim Appeal FAQs

General Questions

What is an appeal?

An appeal is a written disagreement with a Division of Labor Standards and Statistics Compliance Investigator’s written determination on a wage complaint filed with the Division regarding wages earned on or after January 1, 2015. Either the employee or the employer involved in the claim can submit a written appeal. An appeal is filed by requesting a hearing with a division Hearing Officer. If you file an appeal, you will be required to participate in a telephone hearing. You may not file an appeal before you receive a Compliance Investigator’s written determination on your wage complaint.

Where can I obtain copies of the Hearing Officer Decisions?

  Hearing Officer Decisions

Where can I find more information about appeals?

Please read the FAQs below. You also may call the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics at 303-318-8442.

Filing an Appeal

How do I file an appeal?

If you disagree with the Compliance Investigator’s written determination on the wage complaint, you may file an appeal by requesting a hearing with a Division of Labor Standards and Statistics Hearing Officer using the Wage Complaint Appeal Hearing Request Form. You may submit the form by email, mail, fax, or in person to:

Colorado Division of Labor Standards and Statistics
633 17th Street, Suite 600
Denver CO, 80202
Fax: 303-318-8400
Email: cdle_LS_appeals@state.co.us

If you already created an account using the Division's online portal during the claim process, you may also file an appeal by using the portal. Log into the portal, go to the Available Forms and follow the instructions for filing an appeal.

When you file an appeal, you must include a statement explaining why you believe the Compliance Investigator's determination contains a clear error. At the hearing, it will be your burden to prove that the Compliance Investigator's determination contains a clear error of fact or law.

When is my appeal due?

The Division must RECEIVE your appeal within 35 calendar days of the date of the Compliance Investigator's determination. A late appeal will not be accepted. The postmark date of your appeal does not count, if the postmark is within 35 days but the Division does not receive the appeal within 35 days, your appeal is late and will not be accepted. It is your responsibility to ensure that the Division receives your appeal within 35 days. You may wish to contact the Division to verify receipt of your appeal.

Do I need an attorney?

You are not required to be represented by an attorney. You have the right to be represented by an attorney or another individual at your own cost, but whether you obtain representation is up to you. The Division cannot recommend an attorney or provide legal advice. If you obtain representation, you must file an Authorized Representative Form with the Division.

What do I need to include with my appeal?

An appeal must be filed in writing and must explain the reason you are appealing (why you disagree with the Compliance Investigator's determination). Your written appeal must be signed by either you or your authorized representative. If you have new evidence to submit (anything that was not submitted to the Compliance Investigator during the initial investigation), you should include it with your appeal. However, you will need to show good cause for not filing the evidence during the investigation.

What constitutes "good cause" for filing new evidence?

The Division may assess any relevant factors in deciding whether there is good cause for the filing of new evidence on appeal, including but not limited to:

That the new evidence was previously not known or obtainable, despite diligent evidence-gathering efforts by the party offering the new evidence, That the party failed to receive fair notice of the investigation or of a key filing by another party or by the Division to which the new evidence is responsive, That factors outside the control of the party prevented a timely action or interfered with the opportunity to act, except that the acts and omissions of a party's authorized representative are considered the acts and omissions of the party and are not considered to be a factor outside the party's control, That a determination raised a new issue or argument that cannot be responded to adequately without the new evidence, That, at the investigation stage, the party offering new evidence requested more time to submit evidence, yet was denied, and in the hearing officer's judgment (a) the need for more time was legitimate and did not reflect neglect by the party, (b) the denial of the request for more time was unwarranted, and (c) exclusion of the evidence would cause substantial injustice to the party, and/or That failure to admit the evidence otherwise would cause substantial injustice and did not arise from neglect by the party.

I am the employee, and my employer paid all the wages and penalties ordered by the Compliance Investigator. Can I still file an appeal if I accepted the payment?

No. If you accept payment of (for example, cash a check) the wages and penalties ordered in the Compliance Investigator's Citation and Notice of Assessment, the employer's payment constitutes full and complete satisfaction, and you will not be permitted to appeal.

What happens after the Division receives my appeal?

The Division will review your appeal. If it was received within 35 days of the Compliance Investigator's determination and states a clear error, the Division will schedule a hearing and send you written notification of the date and time of the telephone hearing.

What should I do after I submit my appeal?

You should notify the Division of any address changes while your appeal is pending. You should also regularly check the mail and email addresses you provided to the Division for any correspondence related to your appeal.

I am the employer. If I file an appeal, do I have to pay the wages and penalties ordered in the Notice of Assessment?

If the Compliance Investigator issued a Citation and Notice of Assessment, you must pay any amount that is not in dispute immediately in accordance with the Notice of Assessment. If you do not pay the wages due to the employee within 14 days of the Notice of Assessment, and it is determined on appeal that those wages are owed, you will not be eligible to pay the reduced penalties outlined in the Notice of Assessment, you will be responsible for the full penalty amount. You may delay the payment of fines owed to the Division while the appeal is pending.

Preparing for the Hearing

I received a Division of Labor Standards and Statistics Notice of Appeal Hearing. What should I do?

If you need an interpreter or any other accommodation, you should notify the Division as soon as possible. You should write the date and time of the hearing on your calendar. You should prepare for the hearing by reviewing all the materials in the file sent with the Notice of Hearing. The Hearing Officer's decision will be based on the information in the file, any new evidence accepted into the record,and the information provided at the hearing.

What if I want to withdraw my appeal?

If you filed the appeal, and you no longer want a Hearing Officer to hold a hearing on your appeal, you may request to withdraw the appeal any time before the hearing is held. You may request to withdraw the appeal by contacting the Division in writing (by email, mail, or fax) and explaining the grounds for withdrawal OR by submitting a stipulation signed by all parties consenting to the withdrawal. Appeals that are withdrawn may not be refiled. If a hearing has already been held, the appeal may not be withdrawn.

I did not file the appeal. Do I have to respond to it?

If you are not the party who filed the appeal, you are not required to submit a written response to the Notice of Hearing. But, if you wish to submit any additional information, you must send your written response to the Division AND to the opposing party by the deadline listed in the Notice of Hearing. If you do not send your written response to the Division AND to the opposing party by the deadline, the Hearing Officer may not consider your response in making the decision. You will need to show good cause for not filing the evidence during the investigation.Even if you do not submit a written response, you are still expected to participate in the hearing, see below for more information.

I filed the appeal. What are my responsibilities at the hearing?

If you filed the appeal, you must convince the Hearing Officer that there is a clear error in the Compliance Investigator's determination. In other words, it is your burden to prove that the Compliance Investigator's determination contains a clear error of fact or law.

What if I want to submit evidence for the Hearing Officer to consider?

If there is any documentation or other evidence you would like the Hearing Officer to consider that is NOT in the file you received with the Notice of Hearing, you must provide it to the Division AND to the opposing party at least two weeks before the hearing. The Notice of Hearing will include the deadline to submit new evidence. If you do not send your evidence to the Division AND to the opposing party by the deadline, the Hearing Officer may not consider your evidence in making the decision. You will need to show good cause for not filing the evidence during the investigation.

What if I want to have witnesses testify at the hearing?

If you intend to have witnesses testify on your behalf at the hearing, you must provide the names and phone numbers of your witnesses to the Division AND to the opposing party before the hearing. See the Notice of Hearing for the deadline to submit your list of witnesses. If you do not send your witness list to the Division AND to the opposing party by the deadline, the Hearing Officer may not allow your witnesses to testify. It is your responsibility to make sure your witnesses are available at the time of the hearing and to arrange for your witnesses to participate in the hearing by telephone.

What if I need access to evidence or testimony that is not in my possession or control?

If you think you need evidence or testimony that you cannot obtain on your own, you may request that the Hearing Officer issue a subpoena. A subpoena is an order to participate in a hearing and give testimony or to produce evidence prior to the hearing. The Hearing Officer will review your request and will only grant it if you demonstrate good cause for the subpoena. The Hearing Officer will not grant your request for a subpoena if the evidence you seek is burdensome or if the testimony you seek adds nothing relevant to your case or merely repeats other available information.

If you think you need a subpoena, you or your authorized representative must contact the Division to obtain a Request for Subpoena form. The Request for Subpoena form must be completed and filed with the Division by email, mail, fax, or in person at least 14 days before the hearing:

Colorado Division of Labor Standards and Statistics
633 17th Street, Suite 600
Denver CO, 80202
Fax: 303-318-8400
Email: cdle_LS_appeals@state.co.us

If the Hearing Officer grants your request and issues a subpoena, you are responsible for serving the subpoena on the person from whom you are requesting the evidence or testimony, in accordance with the instructions provided with the Request for Subpoena form.

Am I required to present evidence?

No, you are not required to submit evidence or witnesses at the hearing. If all you have is your own testimony, be prepared to make your case based on facts, not opinions or philosophical arguments. You may want to prepare a simple outline or summary to keep on track during the hearing.

Do I need to participate in the hearing?

Yes. If you filed the appeal, you must participate in the hearing, or your appeal will be dismissed. You should also participate in the hearing if the opposing party filed the appeal. The Hearing Officer will make a decision based on the information in the file and the information presented at the hearing. If you do not participate, the Hearing Officer will hold the hearing without you, and you will not have the opportunity to present your side of the story to the Hearing Officer.

Can I come in person for the hearing?

No, the hearing will be held by phone. All parties and witnesses must participate by phone by calling the phone number provided in the Notice of Hearing at the scheduled time.

What if I have a schedule conflict with the date and time of the hearing?

Contact the Division as soon as possible to request a new hearing date if you are unable to arrange your schedule to participate in the hearing. You must explain why you cannot participate in the hearing. The Hearing Officer will only grant your request to reschedule the hearing if you give good cause for your inability to attend.

What if I need an interpreter or other accommodation for the hearing?

You must contact the Division as soon as possible to request an interpreter or other accommodation.

Where is the hearing?

The hearing will be held by phone. No hearings will be held in person. To participate in the hearing, call the phone number provided in the Notice of Hearing at the scheduled time. Do not call the hearing number to contact Division staff or for any reason other than to participate in the hearing at the scheduled time.

Participating in the Hearing

When should I call in for the hearing?

Please call in at the scheduled hearing time listed in the Notice of Hearing. Failure to call at the scheduled time may result in dismissal of the appeal or the hearing being held without your participation.

What should I have available during the hearing?

During the hearing, make sure you have readily available:

the file sent to you with the Notice of Hearing, and any new evidence you submitted to the Division or received from the other parties.

 

Plan to be available for at least two hours. If the hearing cannot be completed in that time, the Hearing Officer may order that the hearing be continued on another date.

Will the Hearing Officer tell me the decision at the end of the hearing?

No. The Hearing Officer's written decision will be sent to you as soon as possible after the hearing. The Division cannot give the results of a hearing over the phone, so please do not call to find out what the Hearing Officer decided.

What should I do if I missed the hearing?

If you failed to call in for the scheduled hearing, you may request that the Hearing Officer hold a new hearing. Any request for a new hearing must be submitted to the Division in writing. The request may be submitted to the Division any time after the hearing but must be submitted no later than 35 calendar days after issuance of the Hearing Officer's decision or dismissal. The request must explain why you failed to participate in the hearing and must demonstrate good cause for your failure to call in for the hearing. The Hearing Officer may grant another hearing date if it is determined that there was good cause for your failure to participate.

The Hearing Officer may also question all parties and witnesses. The hearing will be recorded by the Hearing Officer. If you do not understand what is happening during the hearing, alert the Hearing Officer right away.

How long will the hearing take?

All these documents may be referenced by the Hearing Officer or the other parties during the hearing.

What happens during the hearing?

At the hearing, you will be permitted to:

testify before the Hearing Officer, offer evidence if you provided it to the Division and all parties in advance (see above), call witnesses if you identified them in advance (see above), question all witnesses (including the other parties and any witnesses presented by the other parties), and make arguments based on the evidence in the record.
"Appealing a Hearing Officer's Decision"

How do I appeal a Hearing Officer's decision?

You may file an appeal of the Hearing Officer's decision by filing an action for judicial review in any Colorado district court of competent jurisdiction. C.R.S. § 8-4-111.5(5). To learn more about filing a court action, you may wish to contact an attorney or the Colorado Judicial Branch at 720-865-8301 or https://www.courts.state.co.us/.

When is my judicial appeal due?

You must file your judicial appeal within 35 days of the Hearing Officer's decision. If you do not appeal within 35 days, the Hearing Officer's decision is final.

Terminating the Investigative Proceedings

What does it mean to terminate the Division's proceedings?

The employee (but not the employer) has the right to terminate the Division's investigative proceedings instead of appealing the Compliance Investigator's determination. If the employee terminates the proceedings, the Compliance Investigator's determination will be revoked (it will be as if the determination was never issued), and neither party will be able to appeal. The employee will retain any right to file an action against the employer in court.

Who can terminate the Division's proceedings?

Only the employee can terminate the Division's proceedings. The employer cannot terminate the proceedings.

When can the employee terminate the Division's proceedings?

An employee's written request to terminate the proceedings must be RECEIVED by the Division within 35 days of the Compliance Investigator's determination.

How can the employee terminate the proceedings?

The employee can terminate the Division's proceedings by sending written notice to the Division via email, mail, or fax:

Colorado Division of Labor Standards and Statistics
633 17th Street, Suite 600
Denver CO, 80202
Fax: 303-318-8400
Email: cdle_LS_appeals@state.co.us

What happens if the employee terminates the proceedings?

If the employee chooses to terminate the Division's proceedings, the Division will revoke the Compliance Investigator's determination. If the Division ordered the employer to pay wages and/or penalties, that order will be revoked. The employee will retain any right to file an action against the employer in court, but any determination made by the Division will be inadmissible in any court action. If the employee terminates the proceedings, neither the employee nor the employer can appeal the Compliance Investigator's determination. It will be as if the determination was never issued.

If the proceedings are terminated, can I appeal?

No. If the employee terminates the proceedings, neither the employee nor the employer can appeal the Compliance Investigator's determination.

The employer appealed the Compliance Investigator's determination. Can the employee still terminate the proceedings?

Yes. The employee can terminate the proceedings, even if the employer filed an appeal, as long as the employee's written termination request is received by the Division within 35 days of the Compliance Investigator's determination.


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