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Perez v. By the Rockies, LLC.

2023 COA 109. No. 22CA1791. Colorado Wage Claim Act—Colorado Minimum Wage Act—Limitation of Actions—Recovery of Balance of Minimum Wage—General Six-Year Limitation of Actions.

November 16, 2023

Perez worked for By the Rockies, LLC as an hourly employee at a fast-food restaurant between 2016 and 2017. In 2022, Perez filed a claim for relief pursuant to the Minimum Wage Act, alleging that By the Rockies had failed to provide him and other employees required meal and rest breaks during their shifts. By the Rockies moved to dismiss the complaint as untimely, arguing that the court should apply the limitations period set out in the Wage Claim Act. The court concluded that the shorter limitations period contained in the Wage Claim Act applied, and it dismissed Perez’s complaint as untimely.

On appeal, Perez argued that the district court erroneously dismissed his case by applying the wrong limitations period. The Minimum Wage Act provides a general six-year limitations period for claims “to recover a liquidated debt or an unliquidated, determinable amount of money.” It is undisputed that Perez’s Minimum Wage Act claim fits this description. Here, the district court applied the statute of limitations in the Colorado Wage Claim Act, which by that statute’s plain language does not apply to Minimum Wage Act claims. Accordingly, the Minimum Wage Act’s statute of limitations applies, and Perez’s claim was timely.

The judgment was reversed and the case was remanded for further proceedings.

Official Colorado Court of Appeals proceedings can be found at the Colorado Court of Appeals website.

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