Wage and Hour Laws (including Paid Sick Leave)

Wage & Hour Rights and Responsibilities

  • Wage Payment: Employee rights include:
    • Pay for all wages earned (INFO #3) at the rate agreed to by the employer and employee.
    • Pay of at least minimum wage (INFO #1), the applicable Colorado or local minimum wage, and all earned overtime wages without impermissible deductions from their wages;
    • Pay of all earned wages without impermissible deductions (INFO #16).
  • Breaks: Most employees must receive meal periods and paid rest periods (INFO #4) during their shifts. 
  • Paid Sick Leave: The Colorado Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (INFO #6) requires Colorado employers to provide two types of paid sick leave to their employees: accrued leave and public health emergency (PHE) leave (not currently in effect). Employees have a right to take paid sick leave with full pay and return to work without negative consequences. Employers must provide at least 1 hour of accrued, paid leave per 30 hours of work, up to 48 hours per year. 

Labor Statutes, Rules, & Published Guidance

  • Statutes & Rules: DLSS enforces many of Colorado’s wage and hour and other types of labor statutes and labor rules, including the Colorado Wage Act, the Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards (“COMPS Order”), and the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. Please visit the Division's Labor Statutes and Labor Rules webpages for current and prior versions of key Colorado labor statutes and rules.
  • Published Guidance: The Division’s primary types of public guidance are:
    • INFOs (Interpretive Notices and Formal Opinions) — the Division’s officially approved notices, opinions, and explanations on various labor law topics; and
    • KNOWLEDGEs (Knowledge for Workers on Labor Law is Empowering & Drives Good Employment) one-page summaries for employees on their labor rights. 

Written Demands, Complaints, & Investigations

  • Demands & Complaints for Wages: If an employer owes you wages, you can send your employer a written demand for payment of wages by mail, email, text message, or other electronic means. A written demand may be sent to the employer at the same time a Labor Standards Complaint Form for unpaid wages is filed with the Division. The Labor Standards Complaint Form can be found on our Demands, Complaints, Responses, and Settlements webpage.
  • Employer Responses in Investigations: Once a complete Labor Standards Complaint Form is received and reviewed, a letter explaining the nature of the complaint and the amounts alleged to be owed is sent to the employer. For more information about the investigation process, please review the Wage & Hour Claim Investigations — Employer FAQs webpage.
  • Investigations Launched by the Division (“Direct Investigations”): The Division may conduct employer-wide direct investigations of potential violations of Colorado wage and hour law. If you would like to submit a tip, please email the Division at cdle_di_tips@state.co.us. If you would like to file an individual claim for unpaid wages, you must fill out a Labor Standards Complaint Form on our Demands, Complaints, Responses, and Settlements webpage. To appeal a direct investigation citation or one or more Notices of Assessment, an alleged employer may submit a Direct Investigation Appeal Form.

Public Disclosure of Citations for Violations & Appeal Decisions

  • The Wage Theft Transparency Act makes public all final determinations from the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics where an employer has been found in violation of Colorado wage and hour law. 
  • The Division also posts selected Decisions on labor law complaints and investigations that the Division believes may be informative to employers, employees, and other stakeholders.

Beyond Wage & Hour Law

For more on all areas of labor law and policy the Division covers beyond wage and hour law, see our Division Authority and Coverage webpage.

Contact Us

Colorado Division of Labor Standards and Statistics| 303-318-8441 | Contact Us