These are 'often asked' questions we receive from our members. We will periodically update and add new topics of interest, so check back often.
Colorado Restaurant Association
430 E 7th Ave
Denver, CO 80203
P: (303) 830-2972
TF: (800) 522-2972
F: (303) 830-2973
Yes, Colorado Law provides an exception to the minimum wage for "unemancipated minors". Colorado Minimum Wage Order Number 31 states that "unemancipated minors under 18 years of age may be paid 15% below the current minimum wage less any applicable lawful credits, for all hours worked." To qualify as an "unemancipated minor" the employee must:
CRA was instrumental in passing a law to allow 18, 19 and 20 year olds to sell and serve alcohol. The previous age limit was 21 years old. However, there are several conditions that must be met for those under 21 years of age to serve and sell alcohol:
Important regulations must be followed by employers who hire students between the ages of 14 and 18 years old. The fines for violations of these regulations are quite high. Please review this chart to make sure you are in compliance with both state and federal laws regarding youth employment.
Federal Labor Laws for restaurants Fact Sheet.
Colorado Youth Labor Law Fact Sheet.
Taking out the trash is one of the duties commonly assigned to teen workers in retail and service establishments. While most of the duties associated with taking out the trash are safe for teens to perform, there are both safety hazards and potential violations of the federal youth employment provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to consider if young workers take trash to a compactor or baler. Teen workers are permitted to take the trash to the site of the compactor or baler and set it on the ground, but workers under the age of 18 are generally prohibited from actually dumping trash into the compactor or baler. In addition, they may not operate the compactor or baler, nor may they unload the compactor or baler.
Performing any of these actions may violate Hazardous Occupations Order No. 12 of the federal youth employment provisions. This prohibition applies even if an employer does not own the compactor or baler but uses centralized equipment that is owned or provided by someone else. There is a limited exception in the law which allows 16 and 17 year olds to load, but not operate or unload certain compactors or balers.
For details and more information about FLSA youth employment provisions visit YouthRules! or call the Department of Labor’s toll free helpline at 1-866-4US-WAGE (1-866-487-9243).