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Resource Center / Growing a Business

Colorado Labor Laws for Minimum Wage, Overtime, and Paid Sick Leave (2021)

If you have a business in Colorado, consider these state requirements for minimum wage, overtime, and paid sick leave.

Sep 21, 20212 minutes

Colorado businesses are subject to state labor laws, as well as local laws, depending on where your business is located. Colorado also has specific requirements for overtime pay and when an employee is eligible for overtime. Colorado also has specific paid sick leave entitlements that apply to certain “covered” employers.

If you’re a business owner in Colorado, here are a few important requirements for minimum wage, overtime, and sick leave.

Colorado Minimum Wage

The minimum wage for Colorado is currently set at $12.32.

For the Denver metro area, the minimum hourly wage minimum is $14.77.

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Colorado Overtime Laws

Colorado law requires employers to pay employees at the overtime rate, unless otherwise exempt, when certain hours-worked thresholds are reached. Overtime rate is defined here as one and a half times (1.5x) the employee’s regular rate of pay. An employer is required to pay overtime in Colorado when an employee works: - More than 40 hours in a workweek; or- More than 12 hours in a workday; or- More than 12 consecutive hours, regardless of workday.

Employers must calculate overtime for (i) working more than 12 hours in a workday or (ii) working more than 12 consecutive hours (regardless of workday) and pay overtime wages based on whichever approach provides a greater benefit to the employee, and then add any additional hours that were not counted in that calculation but resulted in weekly overtime.

Colorado Sick Leave

Under Colorado’s Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA), most Colorado employers are required to offer up to 48 hours of paid sick and safe leave to Colorado employees. Covered employers with 16 or more employees were required to offer paid sick and safe leave beginning on January 1, 2021, while covered employers with 15 or fewer employees have an additional year to comply. Covered employers will also have to provide additional leave during public health emergencies under the HFWA.

Start or Grow a Business in Colorado

If you’re starting a business in Colorado, or trying to scale your operations, make sure you have a strategy for attracting new hires, managing back-office administrative tasks, and keeping compliant with state labor laws and regulations. It pays to offer competitive employee benefits packages, run payroll with flexible payroll software, and take care of business due diligence with necessary compliance support for your employer-related needs.

Learn how Justworks helps small businesses run with confidence.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.