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.
“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.