Last updated on: December 22nd, 2022
Hours & Pay Regulations
Normal Working Hours
Workday is defined as any consecutive twenty-four (24) hour period starting with the same hour each day and the same hour as the beginning of the workweek. The workday is set by the employer and may accommodate flexible work shift scheduling.
Under Colorado Minimum Wage Order Number 25, employers must pay employees covered by Colorado’s overtime law time-and-one-half their regular rate of pay for hours worked in excess of 12 consecutive hours or 40 hours per week. The regular rate of pay for an employee is used to calculate overtime pay. The regular rate of pay is expressed as a rate per hour, and it is determined by dividing the total remuneration provided to an employee in any workweek by the total numbers of hours actually worked in that workweek.
The regular rate of pay includes all compensation paid to employees including the set hourly rate, shift differential, non-discretionary bonuses, production bonuses, and commissions. The following are excludable from the regular rate of pay: business expenses, bona fide gifts, discretionary bonuses, employer investment contributions, vacation pay, holiday pay, sick leave, or jury duty.
Under Colorado state wage law, employers are required to pay each non-exempt employee an overtime wage of one-and-a-half times the employee’s regular hourly rate for all hours worked in excess of:
- 40 hours in one workweek;
- 12 hours in one workday;
- 12 consecutive hours, regardless of whether the work period overlaps into a second day; without regard to the starting and ending time of the workday.
According to Colorado’s overtime laws, an employer must pay its employees under the method that would give the greatest benefit to the employee i.e., whichever calculation results in the greater payment of wages. This is a state-mandatory law for all hourly employees in Colorado.
Every employer shall authorize and permit rest periods, which, insofar as practicable, shall be in the middle of each four (4) hour work period. A compensated ten (10) minute rest period for each four (4) hours or major fractions thereof shall be permitted for all employees. Such rest periods shall not be deducted from the employee’s wages. It is not necessary that the employee leave the premises for the said rest period.
An employee that works at least three and a half (3½) continuous hours is permitted:
- One (1) 10-minute rest period if the employee works at least three and a half (3½) continuous hours and less than 7 continuous hours;
- Two (2) 10-minute rest periods if the employee works at least seven (7) continuous hours and less than eleven (11) continuous hours;
- Three (3) 10-minute rest periods if the employee works at least eleven (11) continuous hours and less than fifteen (15) continuous hours; or
- Four (4) 10-minute rest periods if the employee works at least fifteen (15) continuous hours and less than nineteen (19) continuous hours. Nev. Admin. Code 608.16.
An employee may voluntarily agree to forgo any rest or meal period. Nev. Admin. Code 608.16.
Meal Break – Employees are entitled to an uninterrupted, ‘duty-free’ meal period of at least 30 minutes when the scheduled work shift exceeds five consecutive hours. The employees must be completely relieved of all duties and permitted to pursue personal activities for this to qualify as a non-work, uncompensated period of time. When the nature of the business activity or other circumstances exist that make an uninterrupted meal period impractical, the employee must be permitted to consume an ‘on-duty’ meal while performing duties. Employees who are permitted to fully consume a meal of choice ‘on the job’ must be fully compensated for the on-duty meal period.
Every employer must permit rest periods which, as far as is practicable, are in the middle of each four-hour work period. A compensated 10 minute rest period for every four hours or major fractions thereof shall be permitted for all employees, without deduction from the employee’s wages. It is not necessary that the employee leave the premises for the rest period.
Breast Feeding Break
An employer shall provide reasonable unpaid break time or permit an employee to use paid break time, mealtime, or both, each day to allow the employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to two years after the child’s birth.
The employer shall make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location in close proximity to the work area, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express breast milk in privacy. An employer that makes reasonable efforts to accommodate an employee who chooses to express breast milk in the workplace shall be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements.
Colorado wage law does not require nor prohibit any paid holidays and does not require nor prohibit any extra pay for working on holidays. When an employee is paid for a non-work holiday, the holiday hours do not count towards overtime unless actual work was performed on the holiday.
In general, the granting of vacation leave by an employer for a current employee is made pursuant to the employer’s policy. The Division of Labor Standards and Statistics does not intervene in disputes involving the scheduling of vacation leave or the denial of use of vacation leave for current employees.
Effective January 1, 2023, Colorado’s hourly minimum wage is $13.65.
The above information on minimum wages might not be up to date & subject to change. Kindly access the DOL website for the current rates.
All regularly employed trial or grand jurors shall be paid regular wages, but not to exceed fifty dollars per day unless by mutual agreement between the employee and employer, by their employers for the first three days of juror service or any part thereof.
An employee can request or take up to three working days of leave from work in any twelve-month period, with or without pay, if the employee is the victim of domestic abuse, stalking and sexual assault, or any other crime related to domestic abuse.
State employees are entitled to up to two days of paid leave per fiscal year, cannot be accumulated. (§24-50-104) Living Organ Donor Support Act. The legislation provides paid leave for employees who would like to become a living organ donor and gives private employers a voluntary tax credit of 35% if an employee’s salary to cover up to 10 business days of paid leave. (HB1202).
Employers must allow employees who are qualified and registered to vote up to two paid hours of work time to vote in any primary or general election. Employees must apply for leave prior to election day. The employer may specify the hours during which the employee may be absent. However, if the employee requests that the time away from work be at the beginning or end of the work shift, the employer must grant this request. An employer is not required to grant voting leave to any employee who has three or more hours off from work while the polls are open on election day.
In addition to USERRA, Colorado law provides reinstatement rights for state and U.S. military service members. Employees who are called to active service must be granted unlimited unpaid time off and reinstated to their former positions with all pay, seniority, and benefits they would have had if they had been continuously employed. Additionally, Colorado provides up to 15 days of unpaid leave per year to members of the National Guard or the U.S. armed forces in order to attend military training. These members also have reinstatement rights to their former positions as long as they are still qualified for the positions. Employees must provide documentation of satisfactory completion of their training.
Every employer in private employment shall provide paid leave to each employee of the employer as follows:
- An employee is entitled to at least 0.01923 hours of paid leave for each hour of work performed.
- An employee may, as determined by the employer, obtain paid leave by receiving on the first day of each benefit year the total number of hours of paid leave that the employee is entitled to accrue in a benefit year; or accruing over the course of a benefit year the total number of hours of paid leave that the employee is entitled to accrue in a benefit year.
- Paid leave accrued over the course of a benefit year may carry over for each employee between his or her benefit years of employment, except an employer may limit the amount of paid leave for each employee carried over to a maximum of 40 hours per benefit year. An employer may limit the amount of paid leave an employee uses to 40 hours per benefit year. An employer may set a minimum increment of paid leave, not to exceed 4 hours, that an employee may use at any one time.
An employee in private employment may use paid leave available for use by that employee as follows:
- An employer shall allow an employee to use paid leave beginning on the 90th calendar day of his or her employment.
- An employee may use paid leave available for use by that employee without providing a reason to his or her employer for such use.
- An employee shall, as soon as practicable, give notice to his or her employer to use the paid leave available for use by that employee.
Employers with 50 or more employees must grant employees with children up to 4 hours of unpaid leave per school year to attend parent-teacher conferences, school activities, or school-sponsored events, or to volunteer or be involved at the school during school hours. Leave must be taken in at least one-hour increments at a time agreed to by the employer and employee. Notice and documentation requirements apply.
The Paid Sick and Safe Time leave apply to all employers from January 1, 2022. Colorado employers of all sizes are required to provide paid sick leave to their employees, accrued at 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours per year. An employee begins accruing paid sick leave when employment begins, may use paid sick leave as it is accrued, and may carry forward up to 48 hours of paid sick leave to the following year. An employer is not required to allow the employee to use more than 48 hours of paid sick leave in a year.
Reasons for Leave
The employee has a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; needs a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment related to such illness, injury, or condition; or needs to obtain preventive medical care.
The employee needs to care for a family member who has a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition; needs a medical diagnosis, care, or treatment related to such illness, injury, or condition; or needs to obtain preventive medical care. The employee or family member has been the victim of domestic abuse, sexual assault, or harassment and needs to be absent from work for purposes related to such crime.
A public official has ordered the closure of the school or place of care of the employee’s child or of the employee’s place of business due to a public health emergency, necessitating the employee’s absence from work.
Definition of family members includes an employee’s immediate family member (a person related by blood, marriage, civil union, or adoption), a child to whom the employee stands in loco parentis, a person who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was a minor, and a person for whom the employee is responsible for providing or arranging health- or safety-related care.
Employers who already have a pre-existing sick leave policy are not required to provide any additional sick leave if the employer’s plan meets or exceeds the requirements under the new law.
Employers may “front load” sick leave, which would provide employees with the total amount of required sick leave at the beginning of the year rather than waiting for the employee to accrue the hours.
Carry – Over
An employee’s unused sick leave must be carried over to the next year; however, an employer may limit the use of sick leave to 48 hours per calendar year.
Sick Leave Pay
Leave must be paid at the same rate of pay the employee is paid for regular working hours, or at the state minimum wage, whichever is greater. Employees transferred to a separate division of the same employer or to a successor employer must be allowed to transfer their accrued sick leave to their new place of employment.
The COVID-19 Sick leave contained in the FFCRA requires covered employers to provide up to 80 hours of FFCRA paid sick leave to covered employees. As per the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act, in the event of a public health emergency, employers must supplement an employee’s PSST to ensure the employee may take the following amounts of leave:
- For employees who normally work 40 hours or more per week: At least 80 hours.
- For employees who normally work fewer than 40 hours in a week: At least the greater of either the amount of time the employee is scheduled to work in a 14-day period or the amount of time the employee actually works during an average 14-day period.
Employers may count an employee’s unused PSST toward the PHEL the law requires. The Act defines a “public health emergency” to be:
- an act of bioterrorism, pandemic influenza, or an epidemic caused by a novel and highly fatal infectious act, for which: 1) a disaster emergency is declared by the governor; or 2) an emergency is declared by a federal, state, or local public health agency;
- a highly infectious illness or agent with epidemic or pandemic potential for which a disaster emergency is declared by the governor.
Reasons for Leave
- To self-isolate and care for oneself (or a family member who is self-isolating) because the employee (or family member) is diagnosed with, or experience symptoms of, the communicable illness that is the cause for the public health emergency;
- To seek or obtain (or care for a family member who needs) medical diagnosis, care, or treatment if experiencing symptoms associated with a communicable illness that is the cause of the public health emergency.
- To seek (for oneself or a family member) preventive care concerning a communicable illness that is the cause of the public health emergency.
- If the individual’s presence on the job or in the community would jeopardize the health of others because of the individual’s exposure to the communicable illness or because the employee is exhibiting symptoms of the communicable illness (regardless of diagnosis), as determined by local officials with such authority or the employee’s or covered relation’s employer;
- To care for a child or other family member when the child’s care provider is unavailable due to a Public Health Emergency, or if the child’s or family member’s school or place of care has been closed by a local, state, or federal public official or at the discretion of the school or place of care due to a Public Health Emergency, including if a school or place of care is physically closed but providing instruction remotely; or
- If an employee is unable to work because the employee has a health condition that may increase susceptibility to or risk of communicable illness that is the cause of the Public Health Emergency.