Colorado has enacted labor laws to protect the rights of workers. State labor laws are designed to ensure that workers are not subjected to unsafe working environments, inappropriate wage reductions or garnishments, and employer retaliation.

Part-time vs. Full-time 

Colorado does not specifically designate who qualifies as “full-time” or “part-time”.  Employment hours are left up to the employer and the application of minimum wage laws is not impacted by a full-time or part-time designation.

Minimum Wage

In 2016, Colorado passed Amendment 70 which increased minimum wage from $8.31 to $9.30 per hour effective at the beginning of 2017 (minimum wages increased to $6.38 for tipped employees).  Minimum wage will continue to increase each year by $0.90 until it reaches $12.00 in 2020.

  • January 1, 2017:  $9:30/hr
  • January 1, 2018:  $10:20/hr
  • January 1, 2019:  $11.10/hr
  • January 1, 2020:  $12.00/hr

These increases are meant to combat cost-of-living increases that occur overtime.  However, salaried executives, professionals and certain other types of employees are exempt from minimum wage requirements.


Colorado now requires that employees be paid time and one-half of their regular rate for any work that is more than a 40-hour workweek or where the employee is required to work significant consecutive hours (such as two back-to-back 12 hour workdays).  Employees may also have further rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).


Employers who threaten employees who are involved in investigations relating to minimum wage issues can be subjected to a fine of up to $1,000.  You may also have remedies for unpaid wages if your employer has failed to compensate you for the work you have performed.

Paid Vacation, Heath Coverage and Other Benefits

Colorado does not require employers to offer employees paid vacation, holiday, or sick leave. Colorado also does not require employers to offer health insurance as this requirement is regulated by federal laws.  Furthermore, Colorado does not require employers to pay employees for sick or pregnancy leave. However, such requirements may exist under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Where Can I Find a Lawyer to Help Me?

If you think you are not getting the basic rights and protections offered by Colorado’s labor laws, then contact a local employment lawyer today.