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In an interview with the Colorado Springs Independent, Bachus & Schanker, LLC founder Kyle Bachus details issues surrounding labor law violations, including wage and hour violations.
From the interview:
The problem is the same there as it is everywhere, says Denver attorney Kyle Bachus, whose firm Bachus & Schanker, LLC specializes in employment-law violations, among other areas. "Like all other departments in state government, [the Department of Labor is] underfunded and they are [under-]staffed," he says, "and they don't have a lot of teeth to be able to pursue every claim in the civil courts."
A spokesman emphasizes that the department actually has recovered more than $3 million, cumulatively, in unpaid wages in the last three years. But the
hit-and-miss nature of each complaint goes to highlight the weak position held by your average small-business employee.
"It is absolutely true that you are more vulnerable to not being paid in a small community business, because federal law simply doesn't protect you
unless the business grosses over $500,000 a year," Bachus says. "So [my firm has] fewer people we can help in that scenario, but actually we probably get more calls from that segment than we do from others, because they're the ones that get paychecks missed, get situations where, 'I was going to pay you overtime, but I'm not going to now.'
"And that happens less frequently with larger companies, and the reason it happens less frequently is because those companies have obligations under
federal law. And it's the deterrent effect of the [Fair Labor Standards Act] that makes those larger companies do the right thing for their employees."