Breaks (Rest & Meal Periods)

Breaks and meal period regulations apply to employees and employers covered by the Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order ("COMPS Order") #38. For individuals covered under COMPS Order #38, the following rules apply.

Meal Periods

Employees shall be entitled to an uninterrupted and duty-free meal period of at least a 30-minute duration when the shift exceeds five consecutive hours of work. Such meal periods, to the extent practical, shall be at least one hour after the start, and one hour before the end, of the shift. Employees must be completely relieved of all duties and permitted to pursue personal activities for a period to qualify as non-work, uncompensated time. When the nature of the business activity or other circumstances make an uninterrupted meal period impractical, the employee shall be permitted to consume an on-duty meal while performing duties. Employees shall be permitted to fully consume a meal of choice on the job and be fully compensated for the on-duty meal period without any loss of time or compensation.

Deductions For Meals

The reasonable cost or fair market value of meals provided to the employee, may be used as part of the minimum hourly wage. No profits to the employer may be included in the reasonable cost or fair market value of such meals furnished. Employee acceptance of a meal must be voluntary and uncoerced.

Rest Periods

Every employer shall authorize and permit a compensated 10-minute rest period for each 4 hours of work, or major fractions thereof, for all employees, as follows:

Rest Periods Required
Work HoursRest Periods Required
2 or fewer


Over 2, and up to 6


Over 6, and up to 10


Over 10, and up to 14


Over 14, and up to 18


Over 18, and up to 22


Over 22



To the extent practical, rest periods shall be in the middle of each 4-hour work period. It is not necessary that the employee leave the premises for a rest period. Please see COMPS Order #38 Rule 5.2 for more information about required Rest Periods.


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