Denver woman wins one of the largest wage theft cases in the U.S.

Denver woman wins one of the largest wage theft cases in the U.S. 04:22

A Denver jury has ruled a former caretaker at an area assisted living center was underpaid for a seven-year span.

Her attorney says the monetary award to the employee is likely to range between $325,000 to $762,000 – an amount he calls the largest individual wage theft case in the country.

“It needs to serve as a warning to employers to tell them there’s real-world liability if they violate wage theft laws,” said attorney David Miller, who represented Aleta Ayo, 34.

Wage theft is defined as non-payment of wages, underpayment, deduction violations and employee misclassification. The most likely victims are low-wage, immigrant and female workers.

Ayo began working as a caregiver for Meadow Vista Assisted living in 2015. She worked at a home the company operates in southeast Denver, which houses as many as eight people with mental illness.

Aleta Ayo CBS

“It came like second nature to me,” said Ayo of the live-in job. She said she was on duty 24 hours a day for days on end without any relief.

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