May 2022

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Colorado clarifies overtime exemptions

1/7/21

Author: ADP Admin/Tuesday, January 5, 2021/Categories: Compliance Corner , State Compliance Update, Colorado

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has released a new Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order (COMPS Order #37) that clarifies and adjusts certain exemptions from the state's overtime requirements. COMPS Order #37 takes effect January 1, 2021.

Overtime Exemptions:

Administrative Employee Exemption:

COMPS Order #37 clarifies that the overtime exemption for administrative employees covers a salaried employee who is paid at least the minimum salary required ($778.85 per week in 2021) and who directly serves an executive and regularly performs duties important to the decision-making process of that executive. Both the executive and employee must regularly exercise independent judgment and discretion in matters of significance, with a primary duty that is non-manual in nature and directly related to management policies or general business operations.

Professional Employee Exemption:

COMPS Order #37 clarifies that the overtime exemption for professional employees covers a salaried employee who is paid at least the minimum salary required ($778.85 per week in 2021) and who is employed in a field 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:

  • Has 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).

Highly Technical Computer-Related Occupations Exemption:

In 2021, employees in highly technical computer-related occupations must receive at least the lesser of $778.85 per week or $28.38 per hour to be exempt from overtime. They must also meet the state's duties test for this exemption.

Other Exemptions:

COMPS Order #37 also makes adjustments to the exemption rules governing:

  • Field staff of seasonal camps or seasonal outdoor education programs who primarily provide supervision or education of minors or adults.
  • Drivers and driver's helpers who are subject to the federal Motor Carrier Act.

See the text of COMPS Order #37 for details.

Compliance Recommendations:

Colorado employers should review COMPS Order #37 in full and ensure compliance by January 1, 2021. Please contact your dedicated service professional with any questions.

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