Colorado – Wage Payment Laws



Frequency of Wage Payments

In Colorado, an employer must pay employees at least once per month or thirty (30) days, whichever is longer, on regularly scheduled pay days. An employer must pay wages within ten (10) days of the end of the pay period for which the wages were earned. Colorado Stat. 8-4-103


Manner of Wage Payments

An employer may pay an employee by:

  • cash,
  • check payable on demand without deduction or fee,
  • direct deposit into the financial institution of the employee’s choosing, if voluntarily agreed to by the employee, or.
  • depositing an employee’s wages onto a paycard if
    • the employee has access to his full wages due at least once per pay period and
    • the employee can choose an alternative means of payment.

Colorado Stat. 8-4-102


Direct Deposit

An employer may pay wages by direct deposit, so long as the employee has consented to the deposit and the wages are deposited into a financial institution of the employee’s choosing. Colorado Stat. 8-4-102. Colorado employers cannot require an employee to receive payment of wages by direct deposit.


Payment upon Separation from Employment

Employees who are fired, discharged, terminated, or laid off

When an employer discharges an employee, the employer must pay the employee immediately. If at time of discharge the employer’s accounting unit, responsible for the drawing of payroll checks, is not regularly scheduled to be operational, then the wages due the separated employee must be made available no later than six (6) hours after the start of the accounting unit’s next regular workday. However, if the accounting unit is located off-site, the employer must deliver the wages due no later than twenty-four (24) hours after the start of the employer’s accounting unit’s next regular workday to one of the following locations selected by the employer: (i) the work site; (ii) the employer’s local office; or (iii) the employee’s last-known mailing address. Colorado Stat. 8-4-109

Employees who quit or resign

When an employee quits or resigns, the employer must pay the employee by the next regular payday. When payment is made, the employer must make the wages due available at one of the following locations selected by the employer: (i) the work site; (ii) the employer’s local office; or (iii) the employee’s last-known mailing address. Colorado Stat. 8-4-109

Employees who are suspended or resigns due to a labor dispute (strike)

When an employee leaves employment as a result of a labor dispute, the employer must pay the employee by the next regular payday. Colorado Stat. 8-4-108


Wages in Dispute

If there is a dispute between the employer and the employee regarding wages due, must pay that amount conceded to be due, without condition, within the time required, depending on whether the employee was discharged or voluntarily quit. The employer may retain the disputed amount until the matter is resolved. Colorado Stat. 8-4-109


Deductions from Wages

An employer may not make any deductions from an employee’s for:

  • cash shortages,
  • damaged or lost property,
  • the cost of uniforms or necessary equipment,
  • dishonored or bad checks, or
  • any similar deductions.

An employer may not withhold or deduct any wages from an employee’s paycheck, unless:

  • the deduction is mandated by or in accordance with local, state, or federal law including, but not limited to, deductions for taxes, garnishments, or any other court-ordered deduction;
  • the deduction is for loans, advances, goods or services, and equipment or property provided to an employee pursuant to a written agreement, so long as it is enforceable and not in violation of law;
  • the deduction is necessary to cover the replacement cost of a shortage due to theft by an employee if a report has been filed with the proper law enforcement agency in connection with such theft pending a final adjudication by a court of competent jurisdiction; however, if the accused employee is found not guilty in a court action or if criminal charges related to such theft are not filed against the accused employee within 90 days after the filing of the report with the proper law enforcement agency, or the charges are dismissed, the accused employee is entitled to recover any amount wrongfully withheld plus interest.
  • Any deduction not listed above which is authorized by an employee if such authorization is revocable including, but not limited to, deductions for hospitalization and medical insurance, other insurance, savings plans, stock purchases, voluntary pension plans, charities, and deposits to financial institutions;
  • A deduction for the amount of money or the value of property that the employee failed to properly pay or return to the employer upon separation from employment. An employer has ten calendar days after the termination of employment to audit and adjust the accounts and property value of any items entrusted to the employee before the employee’s wages or compensation is paid.

Colorado Stat. 8-4-105


Uniforms, Tools, and Other Equipment Necessary for Employment

If an employer requires an employee to wear a uniform, the employer must pay the cost of purchases, maintenance, and cleaning of the uniforms or special apparel unless:

  • the uniform furnished by the employer is plain and washable and does not need or require special care such as ironing, dry cleaning, pressing, etc., the employer is not required to maintain or pay for cleaning.
  • clothing that is ordinary, plain, and washable that is required as a uniform unless a special color, make, pattern, logo or material is required.

An employer may not require a reasonable deposit as security for the return of each uniform furnished to employees upon issuance of a receipt to the employee for such deposit. The cost of ordinary wear and tear of a uniform or special apparel may not be deducted from the employee’s wages.

CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1-6.3; CO Department of Labor and Employment – Uniforms


Pre-hire Medical, Physical, or Drug Tests

An employer may not require an applicant or employee to pay the cost of a medical examination or the cost of furnishing any records required by the employer as a condition of employment, except records necessary to support the applicant’s statements in the application for employment. Colorado Stat. 8-2-118


Notice of Wage Reduction

An employer must post and keep posted conspicuously at the place of work if practicable, or otherwise where it can be seen as employees come or go to their places of work, or at the office or nearest agency for payment kept by the employer, a notice specifying the regular paydays and the time and place of payment and also any changes concerning them that may occur from time to time. Colorado Stat. 8-4-107


Statement of Wages (Pay Stub)

An employer must, at least monthly or at the time of each payment of wages or compensation, furnish to each employee an itemized pay statement in writing showing the following:

  • Gross wages earned;
  • All withholdings and deductions;
  • Net wages earned;
  • The inclusive dates of the pay period;
  • The name of the employee or the employee’s social security number; and
  • The name and address of the employer.

Colorado Stat. 8-4-103


Record Keeping Requirements

An employer must keep for at least two year at the place of employment or at the employer’s principal place of business in Colorado, a true and accurate record for each employee which contains the following information:

  • name, address, social security number, occupation and date of hire of said employee
  • date of birth, if the employee is under eighteen (18) years of age
  • daily record of all hours worked
  • record of allowable credits and declared tips
  • regular rates of pay, gross wages earned, withholdings made and net amounts paid each pay period

CO Reg. 7 CCR 1103-1-7


Notice Requirements

An employer must post and keep posted conspicuously at the place of work if practicable, or otherwise where it can be seen as employees come or go to their places of work, or at the office or nearest agency for payment kept by the employer, a notice specifying the regular paydays and the time and place of payment and also any changes concerning them that may occur from time to time. Colorado Stat. 8-4-107


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