Colorado – Minimum Wage and Overtime Exemptions



Executive exemption

Colorado exempts executive or supervisor employees from its minimum wage and overtime requirements. To qualify as an executive employee, an individual must:

  • be paid on a salary basis
  • earn a salary that exceeds the equivalent of the minimum wage for all hours worked in a workweek and set forth as:
    • January 1, 2021 – $778.85 per week ($40,500 per year)
    • January 1, 2022 – $865.38 per week ($45,000 per year)
    • January 1, 2023 – $961.54 per week ($50,000 per year)
    • January 1, 2024 – $1,057.69 per week ($55,000 per year)
    • January 1, 2025 – 2024 salary adjusted by the same CPI as the Colorado Minimum Wage
  • supervise the work of at least two (2) full-time employees
  • have the authority to hire and fire, or to effectively recommend such action
  • spend a minimum of 50% percent of the workweek in duties directly related to supervision

CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1-2.2.2, 2.5


Administrative exemption

Colorado exempts administrative employees from its minimum wage and overtime requirements. To qualify as an administrative employee, an individual must:

  • be paid on a salary basis
  • earn a salary that exceeds the equivalent of the minimum wage for all hours worked in a workweek and set forth as:
    • January 1, 2021 – $778.85 per week ($40,500 per year)
    • January 1, 2022 – $865.38 per week ($45,000 per year)
    • January 1, 2023 – $961.54 per week ($50,000 per year)
    • January 1, 2024 – $1,057.69 per week ($55,000 per year)
    • January 1, 2025 – 2024 salary adjusted by the same CPI as the Colorado Minimum Wage
  • directly serve an executive
  • regularly performs duties important to the decision-making process of the executive
  • regularly exercise independent judgment and discretion in matters of significance
  • have primary duties that are non-manual in nature and directly related to management policies or general business operations

CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1-2.2.1, 2.5


Professional exemption

Colorado exempts professional employees from minimum wage and overtime requirements. To qualify as a professional employee, an individual must:

  • be paid on a salary basis
  • except doctors, lawyers, and teachers, earn a salary that exceeds the equivalent of the minimum wage for all hours worked in a workweek and set forth as:
    • January 1, 2021 – $778.85 per week ($40,500 per year)
    • January 1, 2022 – $865.38 per week ($45,000 per year)
    • January 1, 2023 – $961.54 per week ($50,000 per year)
    • January 1, 2024 – $1,057.69 per week ($55,000 per year)
    • January 1, 2025 – 2024 salary adjusted by the same CPI as the Colorado Minimum Wage
  • be employed in a field of endeavor whose primary duty is work that requires
    • the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment, as distinguished from routine work that is mental, manual, mechanical or physical, and
    • either
      • knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study, or
      • invention, imagination, originality or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor (as opposed to routine mental, manual, mechanical or physical work, or work that primarily depends on intelligence, diligence and accuracy).
  • be employed in the field in which they are trained

CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1-2.2.3, 2.5

Employers do not need to pay doctors, lawyers or teachers any particular salary or hourly rate although they must meet all the remaining requirements for the professional employee exemption. CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1-2.2.3, 2.5


Outside salesman exemption

Colorado exempts outside salesperson from minimum wage and overtime requirements. To qualify as an outside salesperson, an individual must:

  • primarily work away from the employer’s place of business or enterprise
  • make sales or obtain orders or contracts for any commodities, articles, goods, real estate, wares, merchandise or services
  • spend a minimum of 80% of the workweek in activities directly related to their own outside sales

CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1(5).


Computer employee exemption

Colorado exempts highly technical computer employees from minimum wage and overtime requirements. To qualify as a highly technical computer employee, an individual must:

  • earn at least either
    • the amounts set forth below
      • January 1, 2021 – $778.85 per week ($40,500 per year)
      • January 1, 2022 – $865.38 per week ($45,000 per year)
      • January 1, 2023 – $961.54 per week ($50,000 per year)
      • January 1, 2024 – $1,057.69 per week ($55,000 per year)
      • January 1, 2025 – 2024 salary adjusted by the same CPI as the Colorado Minimum Wage
    • $28.38 per hour in 2021, and adjusting annually therefore by CPI
  • is a skilled worker employed as a:
    • computer systems analyst,
    • computer programmer,
    • software engineer, or
    • other similarly highly technical computer employee
  • have knowledge of an advanced type, customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized formal or informal study
  • spends a minimum of 50% of the workweek in any combination of the following duties:
    • applying systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications,
    • designing, developing, documenting, analyzing, creating, testing, or modifying computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications, or
    • designing, documenting, testing, creating, or modifying computer programs related to machine operating systems

CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1-2.2.10, 2.5


Other minimum wage and overtime exemptions

Colorado exempts the following employees or occupations from minimum wage and overtime requirements:

  • Owners and proprietors who:
    • are full-time employees
    • actively engaged in management of the employer
    • either
      • owns at least a bona fide 20% equity interest in the employer; or
      • for a non-profit employer, is the highest-ranked and highest-paid employee, and is paid at least:
        • January 1, 2021 – $778.85 per week ($40,500 per year)
        • January 1, 2022 – $865.38 per week ($45,000 per year)
        • January 1, 2023 – $961.54 per week ($50,000 per year)
        • January 1, 2024 – $1,057.69 per week ($55,000 per year)
        • January 1, 2025 – 2024 salary adjusted by the same CPI as the Colorado Minimum Wage
  • Taxi cab drivers employed by a taxi service provider licensed by a state or local government.
  • In-residence workers including:
    • employed in private residences directly by households, or directly by family members of the individual(s) receiving care from the babysitter
    • property managers residing on-premises at the property they manage
    • Student residence workers working in premises where they reside for sororities, fraternities, college clubs, or dormitories
    • laundry workers who (a) are inmates, patients, or residents of charitable institutions, and (b) perform laundry services, (c) in institutions where they reside
    • Range workers in jobs related to herding or production of livestock on the range who occupy employer-provided housing as part of their employment and are provided without cost or deduction any housing, food, transport, and equipment required for H2-A visa range workers by federal regulations (20 C.F.R. §§ 655.210, 655.1304).
    • field staff of seasonal camps or seasonal outdoor education programs
      • who primarily provide supervision or education of minors, or education of adults
      • are required to reside on-premises or in the field
      • are provided adequate lodging and all meals free of charge and without deduction from wages
      • as of January 1, 2021, are paid either:
        • the applicable Colorado minimum wage for all hours worked, or
        • a salary
          • equivalent to at least 42 hours per week at the Colorado minimum wage (with the 15% hourly wage reduction that Rule 3.3 permits for unemancipated minors),
          • with hourly wage reduced one-sixth (⅙) for non-profit employers with annual total gross revenue of $25 million or less, and
          • reduced $200 per week as a credit for facilities provided (lodging, meals, and other facilities), as illustrated in CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1-2.2.7(F)(1).
      • “seasonal” means a camp or program that either (a) does not operate for more than seven (7) months in a year, or (b) during the preceding calendar year had average receipts for any six (6) months of not more than one-third (⅓) of its average receipts for the other six (5) months
  • Bona fide volunteers and work-study students who are exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as either:
    • enrolled students receiving credit for an unpaid work-study program or internship
    • bona fide volunteers for non-profit organizations
  • Individuals elected to public office and members of their staff
  • Workers in jobs in agriculture if:
    • they are not covered by or are exempt from, the minimum wage provisions of the FLSA, and
    • the employer does not draw at least 50% of its annual dollar volume of business from sales to the consuming public (rather than for resale) of any services, commodities, articles, goods, wares, or merchandise.
    • they primarily work
      • within the definition of “agriculture” as under the FLSA which includes:
        • farming in all its branches and among other things includes the cultivation and tillage of the soil
        • dairying
        • the production, cultivation, growing, and harvesting of any agricultural or horticultural commodities (including … agricultural commodities …)
        • the raising of livestock, bees, fur-bearing animals, or poultry
        • any practices (including any forestry or lumbering operations) performed by a farmer or on a farm as an incident to or in conjunction with such farming operations, including preparation for market, delivery to storage or to market or to carriers for transportation to market.
      • as temporary employees employed directly by the Western Stock Show Association for the annual National Western Stock Show

CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1-2.2 to 2.3.


Overtime only exemptions

Colorado exempts the following employees from its overtime requirements:

  • salespersons, parts-persons, and mechanics employed by automobile, truck, or farm implement (retail) dealers
  • salespersons employed by trailer, aircraft, and boat (retail) dealers
  • Sales employees of retail or service industries paid on a commission basis, provided that:
    • at least 50% of their total earnings in the pay period is derived from commission sales, and
    • their regular rate of pay is at least one and one-half times the minimum wage
    • receive over 75% of their annual dollar volume from retail or service sales

CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1-2.4

Ski industry employees

Colorado exempts certain ski industry employees from its 40 hour workweek overtime requirements. Ski industry employees that are exempt include employees who:

  • perform duties directly related to ski area operations for downhill skiing or snowboarding, and
  • engage in providing food and beverage services at on-mountain locations

The exemption does not apply to employees performing duties related to lodging and does not exempt employees from the 12-hour workday overtime requirements.

CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1-2.4.3

Medical transportation exemption

Colorado exempts employees of the medical transportation from its 12-hour workday overtime requirements if the employees are scheduled to work 24-hour shifts. Medical transportation industry employees are still entitled to overtime under Colorado’s 40-hour workweek overtime requirements.

CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1-2.4.5

Drivers and Driver’s Helpers

Drivers and their driver’s helpers as defined by the FLSA while and to the extent they are:

  • subject to the federal Motor Carrier Act (MCA) and exempt from overtime requirements of the FLSA and regulations promulgated thereunder;
  • working on MCA-covered non-passenger vehicles, or on MCA-covered passenger vehicles qualifying as “commercial motor vehicles” requiring a “commercial driver’s license” (“CDL”) as defined in 49 C.F.R. § 383.5 — but not on vehicles that transport workers to and from manual work jobs (e.g., landscaping or lawn care, construction or roofing, cleaning or janitorial, or other manual labor) and do not require a CDL; and
  • paid compensation equivalent to at least 50 hours at the Colorado minimum wage with overtime regardless of whether the pay is hourly, salaried, piece rate, or on another basis.

Direct support professionals/direct care workers

Direct support professionals/direct care workers are exempt from Colorado’s 12-hour per workday overtime requirements if they:

  • are scheduled for, and work, shifts of at least 24 hours providing residential or respite services
  • are employed by service providers and agencies that receive at least 75% of their total revenue from Medicaid or other governmental sources
  • provide services within Medicaid home- and community-based service waivers.

CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1-2.2.7(G)


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