Colorado Mandatory Overtime Laws

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Overtime law is defined at the federal level, but the state of Colorado provides additional overtime protections for employees working in the state. These rules are covered under Colorado Minimum Wage Order Number 26, a set of laws which regulate wages, hours and working conditions for employees in certain industries.


To receive overtime pay, Colorado employees must work in certain fields. Retail and service fields sell or offer goods to the public and generate at least 50 percent of their sales from such activities. Employees involved in commercial support services, such as janitorial, laundry, maintenance, clerical or landscaping are also covered by Minimum Wage Order 26. All types of eating and drinking establishments are covered under these laws, as well as health and medical fields.


Outside salespeople who earn commission sales are not covered by Colorado overtime laws. Salaried professionals and supervisors are also exempt. Professionals who operate on a salary rate will not be included in Colorado overtime protection if they make at least $27.63 an hour. Executives of companies working in Colorado do not have to be paid overtime.


Pursuant to Article 18 Section 15 of the Colorado Constitution, employees must be paid a minimum wage of $7.24 or $4.22 to tipped employees effective January 1, 2010. Overtime under Minimum Wage Order Number 26 requires employers to pay employees time and a half for any work in excess of 40 hours per workweek. Work in excess of 12 hours per day must also be paid at time and a half. Work over twelve consecutive work hours regardless of the start and end time of the day must be paid time and a half.


Minors may work more than eight hours per day in emergency situations. Minors shall be compensated at time and a half for all hours worked in excess of forty hours per week or eight hours per day. Emancipated minors are considered to be adults. Ambulance workers on a 24-hour shift are exempt from overtime unless they work more than 40 hours per week.

Mandatory Overtime

While Colorado provides provisions for employees to be compensated for overtime hours, the state does not have any special rules governing mandatory overtime. In the absence of state laws, federal regulations apply. The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 allows employers to mandate overtime for employees over the age of 16, and employers may dismiss, penalize, or sanction an employee who refuses to work overtime hours. Federal exceptions exist for religious observance, physical disability, mental disability, illness, or family leave.