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’s minimum wage is $14.42 per hour, exceeding the federal minimum of $7.25. This applies to all non-exempt employees.

Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

Colorado law prohibits wage discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, or disability. Employers must pay equal wages for equal work, regardless of these protected characteristics.

Wage Payment

Colorado employers must pay earned wages within a reasonable timeframe, typically following the agreed-upon pay period.

Colorado Payment Laws

Pay Periods

Payday frequency must be consistent and established in advance, occurring at least twice a month for most employees.

Pay Statements

Employers must provide detailed pay statements to employees, including hours worked, wages earned, deductions made, and net pay.


Deductions from wages can only be made with written employee authorization or as required by law.

Colorado Overtime Laws

Overtime Pay

Non-exempt employees working more than 8 hours in a workday or 40 hours in a workweek are entitled to overtime pay.

This means they must be paid “time and a half” for exceeding these limits, rising to “double time” for exceeding 12 hours in a workday or 8 hours on the seventh consecutive workday.

Colorado follows the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) for overtime pay. Non-exempt employees working over 40 hours in a workweek are entitled to overtime pay at one and a half times their regular rate.

Regular Rate

The regular rate includes hourly wages, commissions, bonuses, and other forms of compensation.


Certain executive, administrative, and professional employees may be exempt from overtime pay requirements.

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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