Direct Care

Learn more about the Direct Care Stabilization Board & How to Apply for Membership

Direct Care Workforce Overview

This page addresses rights and responsibilities, and Colorado’s board addressing labor in the direct care industry -- defined in SB 23-261 as “the industry of workers who provide home-based or community-based direct care to individuals who require assistance in accomplishing activities of daily living.”

Who is considered a Direct Care Worker?

“Direct care workers” work in the healthcare industry, in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors.  The term “direct care workers” usually includes Nursing Aides, Home Health Aides, Personal Care Aides, Companions, and other jobs.  For example, it also includes home and community-based services (HCBS), facility work (day programs, assisted living, etc.), Job Coaching, Job Development, Mentorship, and Pre-Vocational services. 

If you are unsure whether you are part of this worker class, see  Base Wage Requirement for Direct Care Workers – Frequently Asked Questions by the Department of Health Care Policy and Finance (HCPF), and HCPF’s OM 23-040 for covered Medicaid service and waiver types.

Direct Care KNOWLEDGE Sheets

In its outreach to workers and employers, the CDLE Division of Labor Standards and Statistics (“DLSS”) has created informational sheets specifically for certain work types, called “KNOWLEDGE” sheets (Knowledge for Workers on Labor Law is Empowering and Drives Good Employment). KNOWLEDGE #2 explains a broad range of direct care labor rights and responsibilities under Colorado labor law, as well as points specific to direct care work, such as the base wage rate requirement, differences in break times and overtime pay for certain worker types.

The KNOWLEDGE sheets also link to DLSS’s INFO sheets (Interpretive Notice & Formal Opinion), which offer more in-depth information about Colorado wage and hour laws and regulations.

Educational Videos & Worker Rights

Are you a direct care worker who would like to know more about your rights under Colorado law? You have a few options. You can watch our informational videos about certain topics shown in the links below. In the future, we will post webinars in this space and provide in-person and webinar presentations, as shown on the calendar below. 

Impermissible Deductions

Direct Care Workforce Stabilization Board

On June 5, 2023, Governor Jared Polis signed into law the "Direct Care Workforce Stabilization Board Act," S.B. 23-261, C.R.S. Title 8, Article 7.5. The Act creates a Board to:

(A) develop recommendations to the Governor and legislature at least every two years, starting September 1, 2024, as to: (1) for minimum direct care employment standards to protect and ensure the health and welfare of workers without impeding the dignity and independence of consumers [...]; (2) on how the state can better communicate information to workers about their rights and the obligations of direct care employers; and (3) at the discretion of the board, for additional types of workers who provide services that are direct care in nature within Colorado's long-term care delivery system;

(B) investigate: (1) market conditions in direct care in relation to the labor market,[...] (2) other industry models,[…] (3) the impacts of racial and economic injustices on direct care workers and consumers; and (4) the adequacy of reimbursement rates available through the medical assistance program; and

(C) engage direct care workers, employers, and consumers, through: (A) public meetings and hearings[…] (B) a public education and communication plan[…] ; and (C) notices for employers to provide workers[…]. 

Under the Act, the Board will have 15 members, with initial appointees selected by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (except for the two representatives of other state departments), for terms of one to three years, by October 1, 2023: 

  • 4 members representing direct care employers or employer organizations, including at least one member serving a rural or frontier area;
  • 4 members representing direct care workers or worker organizations, including at least one member from a rural or frontier area
  • 4 members representing direct care consumers who receive direct care services from direct care workers, including one member from an organization representing individuals with disabilities, one member from an organization representing older adults, and at least one member from a rural or frontier area
  • 1 representative each from 3 state departments (labor and employment (CDLE), health care policy and finance (HCPF), and public health and environment (CDPHE))

To join the Direct Care Workforce Stabilization Board, please complete the Application for Membership (Google Form) by 12pm on Friday, September 15, 2023 to be considered for appointment to the Board.

Direct Care Events Calendar

Contact Us

If you suspect your employer has violated Colorado Wage & Hour laws, please file a claim. If you have questions about what wage and hour law requires, or about any other matters the Division may handle, please contact us by email or  303-318-8441.