Colorado Puts Out New Rules on Equal Pay, Paid Sick Leave and More

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

November 20, 2020

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has issued regulations for several state employment laws, clarifying employers' obligations around equal pay, paid sick leave, retaliation protections, wage and hour and more.

The new regulations, which take effect January 1, include the following:

Equal Pay

The Equal Pay Transparency Rules implement the pay transparency section of the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act passed last year.

Among other things, they outline different options employers have to comply with the new requirement to list the pay in all job postings, and to publicize promotion opportunities to all employees. They also establish procedures for complaints, investigations and appeals.

Colorado's latest Wage Protection Rules flesh out requirements under the new Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) that was signed into law this past summer.

In a significant change from draft rules proposed earlier this year, the final rules follow the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) method for counting employees to determine business size, rather than the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).

The rules also address:

  • Types of documentation an employee can provide in support of certain leave requests;
  • Leave increments;
  • How paid leave is accrued; and
  • How employers calculate leave pay rates and hours for non-hourly or irregular-schedule employees.


The Colorado Whistleblower, Anti-Retaliation, Non-Interference, and Notice-Giving (WARNING) Rules cover retaliation protections under Colorado's new Public Health Emergency Whistleblower law (PHEW) and the HFWA.

Among other things, the rules define reasonable concerns employees now have a right to express without being punished and when employees have a right to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) at work.

Wage and Hour

The Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards (COMPS) Order #37 expands the minimum wage and overtime exemption for professional employees to cover creative professionals in addition to learned professionals.

The order also eliminates the requirement that drivers and drivers' helpers cross state lines to qualify for an exemption from the state overtime and meal and rest break requirements.