Wage and Hour Laws in Colorado
Colorado rules on employee overtime, wage and hour law, and fair pay.
What is the minimum wage in Colorado?
As of January 1, 2017, the minimum wage in Colorado is $9.30 per hour. The minimum wage is scheduled to increase by 90 cents at the beginning of each year, as follows: $10.20 (2018), $11.10 (2019), and $12 (2020).
Is the minimum wage different in Colorado for tipped employees?
The FLSA allows employers to pay a lower hourly minimum wage, as long as that wage plus the tips the employee earns adds up to at least the full minimum wage for each hour worked. If not, the employer has to make up the difference. The maximum tip credit in Colorado is $3.02, which means that employers can pay tipped employees an hourly wage as low as $6.28 (for 2017), as long as the employee’s tips bring the total hourly wage up to the state minimum wage.
(For more information, see Nolo’s article Tips, Tip Pooling, and Tip Credits.)
When am I entitled to earn overtime?
In Colorado, eligible employees must receive overtime if they work more than 12 hours in a day (or 12 consecutive hours) or more than 40 hours in a week. Not every type of job is eligible for overtime, however. To learn more, see Nolo’s article Overtime Pay: Your Rights as an Employee and contact the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
Am I entitled to a lunch or rest break?
Yes. Employees in Colorado are entitled to a meal break of 30 minutes, unpaid, after five hours of work. An on-duty paid meal period is permitted when the nature of work prevents a break from all duties. Employees are also entitled to a paid ten-minute rest period for each four hours or major fraction worked, in the middle of the work period, if practical.
To learn more about wage and hour laws in Colorado, contact the state Department of Labor and Employment.
What are wage and hour laws?
Wage and hour laws set the basic standards for pay and time worked—covering issues like minimum wage, tips, overtime, meal and rest breaks, what counts as time worked, when you must be paid, things your employer must pay for, and so on.
Where do wage and hour laws come from?
The federal wage and hour law is called the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Most states also have their own wage and hour laws, and some local governments (like cities and counties) do, too. An employer who is subject to more than one law must follow the law that is most generous to the employee. For example, the federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 per hour, but employers in states that have set a higher minimum wage must pay the higher amount.
Finding an employment law attorney
To locate an employment law attorney in your area, visit Nolo's Lawyer Directory, where you can view information about each lawyer's experience, education, fees, and, perhaps most importantly, the lawyer's general philosophy of practicing law. By using Nolo's directory, you can narrow down candidates before calling them for a phone or face-to-face interview.