Time’s up – COMPS is Upon Us

Employers Council has written extensively about the Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order (COMPS Order) #36, and you’ve probably seen it in the news as well. Over the last six months, the final version has been a moving target, and the version signed in to law on January 22, 2020, contained some changes from what we had been told just days earlier. If you’re confused now, you are not alone.

What you need to know (please see the complete COMPS Order for all the details):

  • The COMPS Order regulates wages, hours, working conditions, and procedures for all employers and employees for work performed within Colorado, with the exception of public employers. This means employers of any size and any industry must follow the Order for any employees they have working in Colorado.
  • Overtime: Covered employers must pay non-exempt employees overtime for hours worked 1) over 40 hours in a workweek; 2) over 12 hours in a workday; or 3) over 12 consecutive hours regardless of the start and end time of the shift.
    • Employers must calculate and pay the overtime resulting in the highest wages for the employee in any situation.
    • Each workweek stands alone – employers cannot average the overtime calculation over two or more workweeks.
  • Salary threshold for exemption from overtime: To be exempt, an employee must (A) perform exempt duties (e.g. executive, administrative, or professional, etc.), and (B) satisfy the Colorado law’s salary basis test. Under the COMPS Order, the salary basis test for executive, administrative, and professional employees is satisfied when employers pay such employees a minimum salary that is at least the level listed below and sufficient for the minimum wage for all hours in a workweek:
  • Meals: Employees shall be entitled to an unpaid, duty-free, and uninterrupted meal break of at least 30 minutes when the work shift exceeds five consecutive hours. Whenever possible, the break should be close to the middle of the shift, and at least one hour from the start and end of the shift. If an employee has to work while eating lunch, that time must be paid as time worked.
  • Rest periods (breaks): Every employer shall authorize and permit a compensated 10-minute rest period for each 4 hours of work, or major fractions thereof, for all employees.
  • Posting: Every employer subject to the COMPS Order must display a COMPS Order poster where all employees can easily see and read it during the workday. If you have employees who work away from the office, you must provide a copy of the poster to each employee.
  • Distribution: Every employer who publishes an employee handbook, manual, or written policies must include a copy of the COMPS Order or a copy of the COMPS poster in the handbook. In addition, employers who require employees to sign an acknowledgment of the handbook, manual, or policies must get a separate signed acknowledgment from each employee saying they have received the Order or poster.
    • This should be included in documents given to new-hires.
    • Starting March 16, 2020, current employees should also receive a copy of the Order or a poster, and employers should require a signed acknowledgment.

Employers Council Resources:

Employers Council can help. Please call or email us with your questions.