Agricultural Labor Rights and Responsibilities

Senate Bill 21-087 (“SB87”): Agricultural Labor Rights and Responsibilities, with Rulemaking by the CDLE Division of Labor Standards and Statistics

On June 25, 2021, Senate Bill 21-087 (“SB87”), on agricultural labor rights and responsibilities, was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis. Though SB87 took effect as law immediately upon being signed, its provisions take effect with varied dates. SB87 requires the CDLE Division of Labor Standards and Statistics to propose, solicit public comment on, and then adopt new rules for agriculture:

(1)     On three wage-and-hour issues: overtime pay; minimum wages; and breaks. These new wage-and-hour rules for agriculture will be be implemented as amendments to Colorado’s existing set of wage-and-hour rules, the Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order, or “COMPS Order.” (Note that while SB87 leaves overtime standards to be determined by the Division in this rulemaking, SB87 largely dictates the minimum wage and break standards, leaving the Division little discretion to change them.)

(2)     On two labor conditions: heat illness and injury; and worker’s access to service providers. These new labor conditions rules for agriculture will be implemented as a new set of agriculture-specific rules, separate from the COMPS Order.

Below is the schedule of events for the Division’s rulemaking, beginning with an open public comment period and a series of stakeholder meetings in summer 2021; publication of proposed rules in early fall 2021; two public hearings (each on one of the two above-listed sets of proposed rules) in late fall 2021; and continuation of the open public comment period until adoption of the proposed rules on dates spanning late fall 2021 through early 2022. Specific dates, times, and details are subject to change, so please refer back to this page as any relevant date approaches. The Colorado Department of Agriculture (CDA) also is charged with rulemaking on other aspects of SB87; for more information, visit the CDA rulemaking website.

On August 11, 2021, the Division issued INFO #12: Agricultural Labor Rights and Responsibilities under Colorado Senate Bill 21-87, and initial "fact sheet" that summarizes the requirements of and provided some guidance on the provisions of SB87.

Comments on the subjects of the rulemaking authorized by SB87 may be submitted via either buttons below. Please limit comments to matters that rulemaking can address. For example, while SB87 charges the Division with setting overtime rules, it does not give the Division, or any other part of Colorado government, authority to change the Colorado hourly minimum wage for agricultural workers.   

Publicly Posted Comments

For questions on rulemaking events, comment submission, or other processes, email michael.primo@state.co.us. For press inquiries, email cher.haavind@state.co.us. Thank you for your interest in these important matters.

 December 9, 2021, Public Hearing RSVP/Comments    RSVP/Comentarios para la Audiencia Publica el 9 de diciembre del 2021  

CDLE Division of Labor Standards & Statistics:
Schedule of Events & Deadlines for Rulemaking Pursuant to SB87

 Event:    Public Comment Period Opens

 Topic:    All Labor-Related Rulemaking in SB87  

Details:  You may submit comments by email as well to michael.primo@state.co.us with the subject line: “SB87 comment by ____ [name of person, business, or organization]”. 

Friday,
7/23/21

      Event:    Pre-Rulemaking Public Stakeholder Meeting

Topic:    Labor Conditions Rules for Agriculture: new rules on heat illness/injury and workers’ service provider access

Details:  August 17, 2021 Recording 

Tuesday,
8/17/21,
3:00 pm

Event:    Pre-Rulemaking Public Stakeholder Meeting

Topic:    Wage-and-Hour Rules for Agriculture: amendments to the COMPS Order (described above) on overtime pay, minimum wages, and breaks

Details:  August 24, 2021 Recording 

Tuesday,
8/24/21,
3:00 pm

Event:    Publication of Proposed Rules

Topic:    Wage-and-Hour Rules for Agriculture: amendments to the COMPS Order (described above) on overtime pay, minimum wages, and breaks

Details:  Publication of proposed rules serves to focus the ongoing comment period, to solicit feedback on the proposed rules in advance of any final rules.

                To view the rules proposed on 9/30/21, click here.

Thursday,
9/30/21

Event:    Publication of Proposed Rules

Topic:    Labor Conditions Rules for Agriculture: new rules on heat illness/injury and workers’ service provider access

Details:  Publication of proposed rules serves to focus the ongoing comment period, to solicit feedback on the proposed rules in advance of any final rules.

Friday,
10/29/21

Event:    Public Hearing on Proposed Rules

Topic:    Wage-and-Hour Rules for Agriculture: amendments to the COMPS Order (described above) on overtime pay, minimum wages, and breaks

Details:  November 1, 2021 Recording

Monday,
11/1/21

 Event:      Comment Deadline

Topic:    Wage-and-Hour Rules for Agriculture: amendments to the COMPS Order (described above) on overtime pay, minimum wages, and breaks

Details:  This closes the comment period that began in July as to the wage-and-hour rules. The comment period will continue until December as to the labor conditions rules.

Wednesday,
11/3/21

Event:    Adoption of Final Rules

Topic:    Wage-and-Hour Rules for Agriculture: amendments to the COMPS Order (described above) on overtime pay, minimum wages, and breaks

Details:  This is the deadline for the Division to adopt the required new wage-and-hour rules in the 2022 version of Colorado’s annually issued wage-and-hour rules, the COMPS Order (described above). This is not the effective date of those rules: effective dates will have been proposed in the published proposed rules, and then actually set by the final rules adopted on this date. Effective dates will be no earlier than January 2022.

Wednesday,
11/10/21

Event:    Public Hearing on Proposed Rules

Topic:    Labor Conditions Rules for Agriculture: new rules on heat illness/injury and workers’ service provider access

Details:  The public rulemaking hearing allows oral comments about proposed rules, either instead of or to follow up on the written comments already submitted and posted below. Attend either in person (633 17th St., Denver CO 80202), or by phone or internet (remote instructions will be posted here a week in advance).

Thursday,
12/9/21,
3:00 pm

 Event:    Comment Deadline

Topic:    Labor Conditions Rules for Agriculture: new rules on heat illness/injury and workers’ service provider access

Details:  This closes the comment period that began in July as to the labor conditions rules.

Monday,
12/20/21

Event:    Adoption of Final Rules

Topic:    Labor Conditions Rules for Agriculture: new rules on heat illness/injury and workers’ service provider access

Details:  This allows the new labor conditions rules to be known before the start of 2022. This is not the effective date of those rules: effective dates will have been proposed in the published proposed rules, and then actually set by the final rules adopted on this date. Effective dates will be no earlier than March 2022. 

Thursday,
12/30/21