Colorado Hours Worked




Hours worked

Colorado employers must pay employees for all hours worked, also referred to as time worked. Hours or time worked includes any time the employees is subject to the control of an employer. This includes all time an employee is either required or permitted to work and includes waiting time and standby time which is time an employee is required to remain at work even if they are not performing their typical job duties. It also includes clean up and similar duties. CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1(2).



Workweek

Colorado defines a workweek as a fixed and recurring period of 168 hours which is equivalent to seven (7) consecutive twenty-four (24) hour periods. The seven day period that forms the workweek must start on the same calendar day and at the same hour each week. CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1(2).





Waiting time

Colorado requires employers to pay employees for waiting time or standby time. Waiting or standby time are periods in which employees do not perform any job duties but remain under the control and direction of their employer and are not able to use the time for their own purposes and remains under the control and direction of their employer. CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1(2).



On-call time

Colorado law does not specifically address on-call time. An employer is typically not required to pay employees for on-call time when the employee is free to leave the employer’s premises and it generally free to use the time for their own purposes. Under Colorado law, employers are required to pay employees for waiting time or standby time, which are periods the employee is not able to use the time for their own purposes and remains under the control and direction of their employer. CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1(2).



Sleeping time

When an employee is required to be on duty for 24 or more hours at a time, up to 8 hours of that time does not need to be included as hour worked if:

  • the employee has expressly agreed that the time will be excluded;
  • the employer provides adequate sleeping facilities for uninterrupted sleep;
  • the employee is able to sleep for at least 5 continuous hours during the sleeping period; and
  • any interruptions during the sleep period are counted as hours worked.

If the employee is not able to sleep for 5 continuous hours during the sleep period, all time during the period must be counted as hours worked.

When an employee is required to be on duty less than 24 hours, any sleep hours must be counted as hours worked if the employee is on duty and must work when required.
CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1(2).



Travel time

Colorado employers must pay employees for travel time if it at the control or direction of the employer. Normal travel from home to work is not considered as compensable travel time and employers do not need to include it as hours worked. CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1(2).



Meeting, lecture, and training time

Colorado minimum wage laws do not address when an employer must count time spent by employees at meeting, lectures, and training as hours worked. The standards set forth in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act related to meeting, lecture, and training time may provide reasonable guidance.



Show up or reporting time

Colorado law does not require employers to pay employees for reporting or showing up to work if no work is performed. An employer is also not required to pay an employee a minimum number of hours if the employer dismisses the employee from work prior to completing their schedule shift. Employers are only required to pay employees for hours actually worked.