Update on the Colorado Minimum Wage Order 36

As outlined in this press release, on Wednesday, January 22, 2020, the Colorado Division of Labor Standards and Statistics adopted the Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order (“COMPS Order”) #36, which replaces Colorado Minimum Wage Order #35. While we here at Employers Council have been reporting on the proposed and pending rules, the final rule has some significant last-minute changes from what the Division had previously released.

First, the COMPS order will go into effect on March 16, 2020. This includes expanding coverage to all employers excepting public entities. This means that employers in Colorado are now required to provide paid rest breaks, unpaid rest breaks, and to pay overtime at 12 hours in a workday or 12 consecutive hours regardless of the workday.

The most significant change is that the salary basis rate will mirror the new federal salary basis of $684 a week, equating to $35,568 annually, starting July 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. After that, there will be a gradual annual increase beginning January 1, 2021. The weekly salary basis will be $778.85 for 2021, $865.38 for 2022, $961.54 for 2023, and $1,057.69 for 2024, and then will be indexed every January 1 by the same Consumer Price Index (“CPI”) as the Colorado minimum wage. Note that the 2020 salary does not apply to A) non-profit employers with annual total gross revenue of under $50 million, and (B) for-profit employers with annual total gross revenue of under $1 million. For those employers, the salary schedule applies as of January 1, 2021.

Both changes are good news for Colorado employers, as it gives a little more time to work towards compliance. Employers who have already implemented changes to align with the federal changes to the salary basis test will be compliant with Colorado requirements as well and will have the rest of the year to plan for the increase in January of 2021. Employers Council attorneys and human resources staff are here to help you navigate these changes.