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When do you need to pay your employees overtime wages?

On Behalf of | Apr 20, 2022 | Employment Law

Both hourly employees and non-exempt salaried employees are entitled to receive overtime pay in certain circumstances. If a company fails to pay workers overtime as required under federal and Colorado state laws, it could face wage claims from their staff.

Not only could such claims hurt the company’s finances, but they can also damage its reputation.  Ensuring that your company is compliant with overtime laws can help you avoid financially devastating wage claims by current or former employees.

Federal overtime laws

For decades, federal law has guaranteed hourly and non-exempt salary workers overtime wages if they work more than 40 hours in a given workweek. After they put in 40 hours, any additional time should have a pay rate that is at least one and a half times their usual hourly wage.

As the employer, you get to set when the workweek starts and ends. It doesn’t need to start on Monday and end on Sunday. You can also change the workweek occasionally, so long as you don’t do so frequently to avoid paying overtime wages.

Colorado overtime laws

In Colorado, there are additional situations that obligate an employer to pay overtime wages. Specifically, workers should receive overtime pay if they work more than 12 consecutive hours in a shift, not including a meal break.

When workers put in extra hours in a week or work a particularly long shift, their employer will usually need to pay them 150% or more of their typical hourly wage. Knowing and abiding by these rules as an employer can help you pay what is appropriate or schedule your staff in ways that minimize your overtime obligations.