New Wage and Hour Laws for Colorado Employers

Date: March 10, 2020

Legal Alert--Major changes take effect March 16, 2020

From the NFIB Small Business Legal Center

Major changes are coming soon for Colorado employers as the Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order (COMPS Order) goes into effect on March 16, 2020. Employers should prepare for new laws related to employee coverage, the minimum salary threshold, and expanded break rights. Here is a summary of the major changes:

  • Employee Coverage – The previous Colorado wage and hour laws applied only to workers in a few specified industries. The new COMPS Order will apply to almost all Colorado workers in almost all industries. The COMPS Order contains some exceptions, including, for example, certain administrative employees, professionals, salespersons, and agricultural workers. The full exceptions may be found here.
  • Exempt Employees Minimum Salary Threshold – The COMPS Order will raise the minimum salary threshold requirement for exempt employees to $35,568 beginning July 1, 2020, the same as the federal law. However, the threshold will increase to $40,500 beginning January 1, 2021. The threshold will continue to increase through January 1, 2024, up to $55,000. After that, the threshold will update annually for inflation. The 2020 threshold (but not later thresholds) does have two exceptions: (1) non-profit employers with annual total gross revenue of under $50 million; and (2) for-profit employers with annual total gross revenue of under $1 million.
  • Expanded Break Rights – The COMPS Order implements new rest period requirements and expressly states how and when employers may divide the 10-minute rest period. The new requirements are as follows:

  • Clarifications – The COMPS Order clarifies some existing laws to avoid confusion and ambiguity. For example, “time worked” has been clarified to include pre- and post-work time when employees are doing “on premise” activities, such as security screenings, changing into required uniforms, and clocking in and out. Other major clarifications include updates to the definition of compensable “travel time,” the definition of “employees in highly technical computer-related occupations,” and clarifies that an employer’s disallowing tips does not violate rules against taking worker tips.

Employers with questions can contact the NFIB Small Business Legal Center at 800-NFIB-NOW.

This alert is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.

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