Labor Compliance Guide

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.


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.


Breast Feeding Break

An employer shall provide reasonable unpaid break time or permit an employee to use paid break time, meal time, 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.

Public Holidays

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.

Annual Leave

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.

Minimum Wage

Effective January 1, 2019, Colorado’s hourly minimum wage is $11.10.

Tips & Gratuities

Effective January 1, 2019, the tipped-worker cash wage is $8.08, based on a tip credit of $3.02. The tipped-worker cash wage is to continue to increase to $8.98 on January 1, 2020.


Tips are the sole property of employees unless their employers post a conspicuously printed card giving notice to the public that tips or gratuities given to employees are not the property of the employees but belong to the employer. Employers may require employees to share or allocate tips on a pre-established basis among the employees who customarily and regularly receive tips. Employer-required sharing of tips with employees who do not customarily and regularly receive tips, such as management or food preparers, will nullify allowable tip credits toward the minimum wage.

Meal Breaks

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 makes 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.

Special Leave

Unpaid Leave
Employees may be eligible to take unpaid, job-protected, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”). Please refer to main United States page for further details on this Federal law.
Jury Duty Leave

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.

Domestic Abuse Leave

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.

Donor Leave

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).

Last updated on: June 27th, 2019