Colorado Wage and Hour Laws

Coloradans work hard for their money and only ask that their wages be paid on time and in full. So what are the laws in place in the Rocky Mountain state to ensure we get just compensation for the time we’ve put into our work? This is a quick summary of wage and hour laws in Colorado

Minimum Wage and Overtime in Colorado

The minimum wage for Colorado employees is currently $8.00 per hour for non-tipped employees and $4.98 for employees who receive tips. These rates apply only to private sector employees. Certain other employees, like public employees, private contractors, and volunteers, are exempt from Colorado’s wage laws. Overtime, for those employees that qualify, is calculated at 1.5 times the usual hourly rate for any work in excess of:

  • 40 hours per week;
  • 12 hours per work day; or
  • 12 straight hours of work regardless of start and end times.

Pay Day Requirements in Colorado

Colorado law dictates that pay periods cannot be longer that 30 days, and employees must be paid within 10 days of the end of each pay period. Employers can pay wages via direct deposit or on a paycard so long as the employee consents and is able to access the full amount of the net pay without additional fees.

Wage and Hour Statutes in Colorado

While each state has their own pay date requirements and minimum wage and overtime rates, federal labor laws also cover employee wages. The following table outlines Colorado’s wage and hour laws.

Code Sections

COLO. REV. STAT. § 8-4-101, et seq. Labor and Industry: Wages

Pay Day Requirements

No later than 10 days following the close of each pay period.

Pay periods can be no greater duration than a calendar month or 30 days, whichever greater.

Method of Payment

Negotiable instrument required: No employer or agent or officer thereof shall issue, in payment of or as an evidence of indebtedness for wages due an employee, any order, check, draft, note, memorandum, or other acknowledgment of indebtedness unless the same is negotiable and payable upon demand without discount in cash at a bank organized and existing under the general banking laws of the state of Colorado or the United States or at some established place of business in the state.

Direct deposit: Employer may deposit wages due or to become due or an advance on wages to be earned in an account in any bank, savings and loan association, credit union, or other financial institution authorized by the United States or one of the several states to receive deposits in the United States if the employee has voluntarily authorized such deposit in the financial institution of the employee's choice.
Paycard: Employer may deposit an employee's wages on a paycard, so long as the employee:
Is provided free means of access to the entire amount of net pay at least once per pay period; or
May choose to use other means for payment of wages.
Scrip prohibited.

Minimum Wage

$8.00 per hour beginning January 1, 2014

$4.98 per hour beginning January 1, 2014 for tipped employees only (No more than $3.02 per hour in tip income may be used to offset the minimum wage of tipped employees.)

Overtime Pay

1.5 times the usual hourly rate after 40 hours in a workweek, 12 hours in a day, or 12 straight hours, whichever is more.

Employers Who Must Follow State Minimum Wage Laws

Every person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, migratory field labor contractor or crew leader, receiver, or other officer of court in Colorado, and any agent or officer thereof, of the above mentioned classes, employing any person in Colorado.

Exceptions: the state or its agencies or entities, counties, cities and counties, municipal corporations, quasi-municipal corporations, school districts, and irrigation, reservoir, or drainage conservation companies or districts organized and existing under the laws of Colorado.

Workers Not Covered Under State Minimum Wage Law

Public employees, independent contractors, and volunteers of nonprofit organizations.

Enforcement

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

303-318-8441

Colorado Wage and Hour Laws: Related Resources

State employment laws can be complicated, and often will depend on your specific employment contract. If you would like legal assistance with an employment matter, you can contact a Colorado employment attorney. You can also visit FindLaw’s sections on Fair Wages FAQ, Exempt Employees, and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for more articles and information on this topic.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.