The Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order ("COMPS" Order) is the source of key wage rights and responsibilities for local employers: eligibility for the Colorado minimum wage; overtime pay for work over 40 hours a week or 12 a day; meal and rest breaks; and rules on wage deductions, on what work time must be paid, and on posting the COMPS Order to employees.
Portions of the COMPS Order need to be amended annually, to adjust the minimum wage for inflation as the Colorado Constitution requires, and to adjust similar wage figures. COMPS Order #38 replaced COMPS Order #37 effective on January 1, 2022.
Important changes from COMPS Order #38:
Effective January 1, 2022, State minimum wage is $12.56 per hour. This means the tipped minimum wage is $9.54 per hour. (Note: Denver minimum wage is $15.87 per hour and the tipped minimum wage is $12.85 per hour.)
Overtime Exemption Threshold
Beginning January 1, 2022, employees must be paid a salary of AT LEAST $865.38 per week (which equates to $45,000 annually) to be EXEMPT from overtime. Importantly, tips DO NOT count toward this total salary and hourly workers are never exempt from overtime. They must also meet the duties test for exempt employees to be exempt from overtime, which is not changing. Find the duties test here, and expected exempt salary increases below:
Date Weekly Overtime-Exempt Salary
January 1, 2022 $865.38/week (45,000 per year)
January 1, 2023 $961.54/week ($50,000 per year)
January 1, 2024 $1,057.69/week ($55,000 per year)
January 1, 2025 The 2024 salary adjusted by CPI
Meal and Rest Periods
Employees who work at least five consecutive hours are entitled to an uninterrupted and duty-free meal period of at least 30 minutes. Employees must also be given a compensated 10-minute rest period for each 4 hours of work. Rest periods must be long enough for an employee to use the restroom or rest in a designated break room.
If an employee doesn’t get a 10-minute break, you have to pay for that extra 10 minutes, and back pay can add up quickly if you fail to do so.
The only exception to the rest period rule is if on a given workday, or in writing covering up to a one-year period that is signed by both parties, the employee and employer agree voluntarily and without coercion to have two five-minute breaks.
Make sure your employees are not only getting their rest periods, but also acknowledging that they received them by either signing a statement before getting their paycheck or otherwise confirming this electronically.
Time Clock Acknowledgement