The Colorado Labor Employment Laws

Colorado labor and employment laws cover a wide range of issues. One unique protection offered to employees in the state is the right to organize or the freedom thereof. In fact, violating this provision may incur civil liability damages, which include, but are not limited to, a misdemeanor charge and a fine of up to $100 per offense. The state’s laws address some of the most common employment issues.

Unless you have a GED or a high school diploma, colorado labor laws defines a minor as anyone under the age of 18. The state does not require minors to obtain work permits. However, a Colorado employer may ask you to provide an age certificate, in which case you can have your school superintendent of the county where you live issue you one. Nonetheless, if you are a minor who is 14 or 15 years of age and you want to work on a school day during school hours, you must first obtain a school release permit. The school district superintendent issues this document. These provisions are contained in the Colorado Youth Employment Opportunity Act (CYEOA) of 1971.

Colorado practices the doctrine of employment-at-will, which gives your employer the right to fire you for any reason and at any time. Nonetheless, the law places some restrictions on your employer. Colorado law recognizes two exceptions to this doctrine. An employer cannot terminate you for any reason that violates “public policy.” Examples include, but are not limited to, terminating an employee because he filed for workers’ compensation or because the employee filed a complaint against the employer. Another exception to employment-at-will in Colorado involves an “implied contract.” An employee can claim that he has an “implied contract” with an employer based on the information contained in the employer’s personnel handbook and other materials.

The Division of Labor will accept written complaints and investigate employers to assess their level of compliance with the Employment Verification Law. If you wish to make a complaint you must fully complete the form below and submit to the Division.

Unemployment insurance (UI) provides temporary and partial wage replacement to workers who have become unemployed through no fault of their own. The Colorado UI Program is funded by employer-paid taxes and provides UI benefits to those who meet the entitlement and eligibility requirements of the Colorado Employment Security Act. The intent of UI is to aid in maintaining economic stability within a community by safeguarding the income and purchasing power of unemployed workers. The Division of Employment and Training within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment administers the UI Program.

As of January 1, 2009, the Colorado Tipped Minimum Wage is $4.26 per hour ($7.28-$3.02). No more than $3.02 per hour in tip income may be used to offset the minimum wage of tipped employee engaged in an occupation where he or she customarily and regularly receives more than $30 per month in tips is defined as a tipped employee.

Employers must pay a wage of at least $4.26 per hour. If tips combined with wages do not equal minimum wage by state, the employer must make up the difference in cash wages.Employer-required sharing of tips with employees who are not customarily tipped nullifies tip credits towards minimum wage.Deduction of credit card processing fees from tipped employees nullifies tip credits towards minimum wage.

Colorado employment laws help employers protect their businesses by requiring compliance with safety standards, fair hiring practices and work environment regulations. In short, labor law helps both employers and employees maintain better working relationships in a more productive environment.

Colorado labor and employment law makes working better for everyone. Labor law, although originally intended to improve working conditions for laborers, actually boosts business owners’ bottom lines by way of increased productivity.