Colorado Proposed Rule Would Require a $42,500/year Salary to Qualify as Exempt

This content is out of date. The law was finalized on 1/22/2020, and had significant changes from the proposed rule outlined below. Please see the current information here:


Earlier this year, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Division of Labor Standards and Statistics held hearings on Colorado’s Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order. On November 18, they published a proposed rule that would include nearly all Colorado industries. In the past, the wage order only covered a limited number of industries.

This change would mean that most employers with employees in Colorado would need to pay overtime after 12 hours in a day and provide rest breaks and meal periods.  Additionally, this proposed rule would increase the salary basis for exempt employees to $42,500 next year. This amount will be adjusted by $3,000 a year until it reaches $57,500 in 2026. After that, the amount will be adjusted based on the area consumer price index.

This proposed Salary level should be taken into account when employers are deciding how to deal with the new DOL salary level, which takes effect on January 1, 2020.  If employers are thinking about raising salaries to meet the new $684 per week threshold, they should also take into account that the state change would require a salary threshold of $817 per week on July 1, 2020. This proposed mid-year change could be the difference between a decision to raise an employee salary or to convert the employee to non-exempt.

To find a copy of the proposed Colorado Wage Order changes, please click the following link: Colorado Overtime & Minimum Pay Standards Order #36. Employers have until December 31, 2019, to comment on the proposed order.  If you’d like to leave a comment, please follow this link: Colorado Overtime & Minimum Pay Standards Order #36 Public Comment.