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Payment of Wages: Colorado

Payment of Wages requirements for other states

Federal law and guidance on this subject should be reviewed together with this section.

Authors: Tareen Zafrullah, Stuart R. Buttrick, Susan W. Kline and Mary L. Will, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Summary

  • The term wages is specifically defined in the Colorado wage payment law. See Definition of Wages.
  • In Colorado, an employer may pay wages in cash, by check, by direct deposit into an employee's checking or savings account or by electronic paycard. See Wage Payment Methods.
  • Colorado employees must be paid on regular paydays occurring not more than one calendar month or 30 days apart. An employer must generally pay employees no later than 10 days following the close of each pay period. Penalties may be imposed for violations. See Pay Frequency.
  • In Colorado, certain deductions from employees' pay are permitted and others are prohibited. Penalties may be imposed for violations. See Permitted and Prohibited Wage Deductions.
  • An employer must provide employees with written, itemized pay statements every payday. Each pay statement must contain specific information. See Pay Statement Requirements.
  • In Colorado, the timing of when final wages must be paid to a terminated employee depends on whether the employee is fired or quit. An employer is not required to pay out accrued vacation pay on termination of employment, but if it does, then it must pay out all accrued vacation pay that is earned and determinable according to the terms of any agreement or policy. An employer must comply with the Colorado Wage Protection Act when paying final wages. Penalties may be imposed for noncompliance. See Termination Pay.
  • After the death of an employee, an employer must follow a specific set of rules in order to properly turn over any compensation owed to the deceased employee's estate, surviving spouse or heirs. See Deceased Employee Wages.
  • Wages that are unclaimed for one year are considered abandoned property. An employer must file an annual report of unclaimed wages and remit the amounts held to the Colorado Treasury Department. An employer must give affected employees advance notice within a certain time period before remitting the amounts held to the state. Penalties may be assessed for noncompliance. See Unclaimed Wages.
  • Under the Colorado Wage Theft Transparency Act, an employer commits wage theft if it willfully refuses to pay wages or other forms of compensation due to an employee, or falsely denies the amount or validity of a wage claim, with the intent not to pay or to underpay the amount due or to defraud the person to whom the wages or compensation are due. Wage theft is a felony if the "theft" amount is $2,000 or more. Violations (e.g., nonpayment of wages or overtime pay) are publicly released by the Department of Labor and Employment and may be used in a court proceeding. See Colorado Wage Theft Transparency Act.