Federal and Colorado Overtime Pay Laws
Generally, for each hour worked over 40/week or 12/day by both salaried and hourly employees, federal and Colorado overtime laws require overtime pay to be paid at a rate of one and a half times the employee’s regular hourly rate. That regular hourly rate, which cannot be less than $8.00 (for 2014), generally is calculated by dividing all pay for a week, including bonuses and shift pay, by forty hours. Overtime pay must be in the form of cash and not paid as “comp time.” In other words, federal and Colorado overtime laws state that an employer cannot require an employee to work 50 hours one week in exchange for additional time off in a later week.
One exception to the overtime pay requirement are so-called “exempt” employees. Employees are not exempt just because they are on salary or because their employer says they are exempt. Rather, most employees can only be denied overtime pay if they are: 1) paid on salary; and 2) are employed in an executive, administrative or professional capacity. Although this can be a complicated question, the exemption generally applies only to those who manage two or more other employees, run a significant business unit of the business or are doctors, lawyers or teachers. As a result, there are many “white collar” workers with high salaries who mistakenly believe they are not entitled to overtime.
There has been a substantial amount of litigation regarding whether overtime must be paid to the following types of employees: 1) telecommuters; 2) assistant managers and shift supervisors; 3) pharmaceutical representatives; 4) customer service employees; 5) salespersons; 6) professional drivers; 7) loan officers; 8) claim representatives; 9) paralegals; 10) IT professionals and help desk operators; 11) bookkeepers and accounting clerks; 12) cable installers; 13) construction supervisors and project superintendents; 14) loss prevention managers; 15) call center employees; 16) field service technicians/engineers; 17) leasing consultants/leasing specialists; and 18) independent contractors.
If your employer is violating the overtime pay laws, you (and other employees) may be entitled to a significant award of back pay. Please contact us for a free and confidential case evaluation or simply to learn more about the legality of your employer’s overtime policies.