Colorado Labor Laws

Colorado Labor Laws (2024 Guide For Employers)

How much do you know about Colorado labor laws?

From hours of work to jury duty leave, there is plenty to wrap your head around as an employer in Colorado.

  • Are you struggling to comprehend the intricacies of Colorado labor laws?
  • Confused about your rights and responsibilities as an employer or employee in the state of Colorado?
  • Worried about potential legal pitfalls and the consequences of non-compliance with employment regulations?

As federal and state regulations continually evolve, understanding the ins and outs of employment law becomes crucial.

With our comprehensive guide to Colorado labor laws, we hope to help you increase your knowledge of state and federal law.

  • For employers: Discover how to maintain compliance with federal and state minimum wage rates, hour laws, and recordkeeping requirements.
  • For employees: Uncover your rights concerning break time, meal periods, and anti-discrimination laws.
  • For job applicants: Learn about your rights in the hiring process and how to identify potential red flags.
  • For private employers: Understand the specific obligations and responsibilities you have towards your workforce.
  • For tipped employees: Explore the nuances of compensation in the service industry.

Whether you’re an employer striving for adherence or an employee seeking clarity, our insights are here to demystify the complexities.

Let’s explore this together, ensuring that your understanding of the state of Colorado’s employment laws is crystal clear.

From break times to healthcare rights, we’ve got every facet covered, making the legal maze more accessible and less intimidating.

Disclaimer: Despite our best efforts to provide you with accurate information on this topic at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content at the time of reading. This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. Consult an attorney for specific guidance on Colorado labor laws.

Colorado Wage Laws

Minimum Wage

As of January 1st, 2024, Colorado boasts a minimum wage of $14.42 per hour, significantly exceeding the federal minimum wage of $7.25.

This higher minimum wage applies to all non-exempt employees in the state.

This means that employers are legally obligated to pay their workers at least $14.42 per hour for all hours worked.

This is a significant benefit for Colorado workers, ensuring a higher base income compared to many other states.

Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

Colorado prioritizes fair treatment in the workplace through its Equal Pay for Equal Work Act.

This law prohibits wage discrimination based on a variety of factors, including sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, or disability.

In simpler terms, employers must pay equal wages for equal work, regardless of an employee’s background or identity.

This ensures that all qualified workers are compensated fairly based on their job duties and performance, not discriminatory factors.

Wage Payment

Colorado law mandates that employers pay earned wages to their workers within a reasonable timeframe.

This typically aligns with the agreed-upon pay period, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or semi-monthly.

The goal is to ensure that employees receive their earned income in a timely manner to cover their expenses and maintain financial stability.

Colorado Payment Laws

Pay Periods

Colorado requires employers to establish a consistent and predictable pay schedule in advance.

For most employees, paydays must occur at least twice a month.

This regular frequency allows workers to budget their income effectively and avoid financial strain due to unpredictable payments.

Pay Statements

Employers in Colorado are obligated to provide detailed pay statements to their employees for each pay period.

These statements should be clear and comprehensive, outlining the total hours worked, wages earned, any deductions made, and the resulting net pay received by the employee.

Transparency in pay helps employees understand their compensation and ensures they are being paid correctly.


Employers can only make deductions from an employee’s wages with their written authorization or when required by law.

This protects workers from unauthorized deductions that could impact their take-home pay.

Common authorized deductions include contributions to health insurance plans, retirement savings accounts, or pre-tax benefits programs.

Colorado Overtime Laws

Overtime Pay

Colorado adheres to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for overtime pay regulations.

This means that non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek are entitled to overtime pay at a rate of one and a half times their regular rate of pay.

This additional compensation serves to incentivize employees who put in extra hours and helps ensure fair treatment for their extended work periods.

Regular Rate

The concept of “regular rate” is crucial for calculating overtime pay.

It encompasses not just hourly wages, but also commissions, bonuses, and other forms of compensation an employee receives.

By including these elements, Colorado ensures that overtime pay accurately reflects the total value of an employee’s work.


It’s important to note that certain executive, administrative, and professional employees may be exempt from overtime pay requirements.

These exemptions are determined by specific criteria outlined in the FLSA.

Employers should consult with legal counsel or the U.S. Department of Labor to determine if specific employee classifications qualify for overtime exemptions.

Colorado Break Laws

Meal Breaks

For employees working over 6 hours, a minimum of 30 minutes for an uninterrupted meal break is required, unless waived in writing by the employee.

Rest Breaks

Short rest breaks are encouraged but not mandated by state law.

Consecutive Hours

Employers cannot require employees to work more than 12 consecutive hours without a meal break.

Colorado Leave Requirements

Sick Leave

The Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) requires all employers to provide one hour of accrued, paid leave per 30 hours worked.

Family and Medical Leave

The federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applies to Colorado employers with 50 or more employees.

Eligible employees can take unpaid leave for serious medical conditions, family emergencies, or to care for a newborn or newly adopted child.

Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA)

Colorado’s HFWA expands on FMLA, offering paid leave benefits for certain public health emergencies, family care, and certain medical conditions.

Child Labor Laws in Colorado

Minimum Age

The minimum age for employment is 14, with restrictions on work hours and types of work permitted for minors under 16.

School Hours

Minors cannot work during school hours without written permission from their school principal.

Work Permits

Minors aged 14-17 require work permits issued by their school or the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Colorado Hiring Laws

Employment Opportunity Act

The Employment Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination in hiring and employment based on protected characteristics like race, religion, and disability.

Job Postings

Employers cannot advertise job opportunities with discriminatory language or specifications.

Colorado Termination Laws

At-Will Employment

Colorado is an “at-will” employment state, meaning employers can terminate employment with or without cause, and employees can resign at any time.


Exceptions exist for wrongful termination based on discrimination, retaliation for whistleblowing, or violation of public policy.

Occupational Safety in Colorado

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE)

The CDLE enforces workplace safety regulations and investigates safety complaints.


Employers must provide a safe work environment for employees and comply with all applicable safety regulations.

Disclaimer: Not Legal Advice

This blog post provides a general overview of Colorado labor laws but does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations are subject to change, and there may be additional requirements or exemptions that apply to specific situations. Employers and employees should consult a qualified labor law attorney for advice on their specific circumstances.

If you have any questions about your rights or obligations as an employer or employee in Colorado, it is essential to consult with a labor law attorney to receive accurate information and guidance tailored to your situation. By seeking professional legal advice, you can ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps to comply with labor laws and protect your rights.

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