Employers Must Follow Federal &
State Wage and Hour Laws
You go to work every day and expect to collect a fair and honest pay that reflects the hours you have put in. Yet too many times, employees are the victims of wage theft and unfair labor practices. Sometimes the employee doesn’t even know they are being taken advantage of, because they aren’t sure what they should be receiving under federal and Colorado law.
Federal Labor Laws as well as state and local laws require employers to follow a strict set of guidelines regarding how they pay employees. When an employer does not pay their workers according to those guidelines, employees may be left feeling cheated, but ironically, often they continue to work for that employer because they need the money.
The Ramos Law Firm has deeply experienced wage and hour attorneys who can help you determine if your employer is violating wage and hour laws and we will fight to get you the wages and compensation you deserve.
The law requires that you be paid time-and-a-half for any work over 12 consecutive hours, 12 hours in one work day, or more than 40 hours in a workweek. Sometimes, an employer may misclassify your worker status so that they don’t have to pay you overtime. An employer may also average your hours for a bi-weekly pay in order to avoid paying overtime.
When calculating overtime, an employer may fail to include the tally for all types of compensation you may receive. This includes failing to include commission, shift differentials, and even bonuses. Employees who are victims of these unfair and illegal practices may not even realize that the employer is breaking the law.
Meal and Work Breaks
If you are forced to work during your meal breaks or work break, you must be paid for that time, just as if your employer requires that you do shift-related tasks before or after work, like attend a meeting or change into work clothes, you should be paid for that time.
The Colorado Minimum Wage Order says that all employees who work over a 5-hour day are entitled to a 30-minute meal break. During this break, you should not be interrupted or made to perform any work-related duties. If the employer does not follow this rule, then you should be compensated for your meal break.
Colorado law also requires that employees are permitted a 10-minute break for each 4-hours of work. During your break, you should be permitted to rest and should not be expected to perform any work-related duty during that time.
Frequently Asked Questions
About Wage and Hour Laws
There are many laws governing employers and how they pay their employees. Here, we provide a list of common questions regarding employer practices and how workers can protect themselves from unscrupulous job policies.
I work for tips, which aren’t always very good. I feel like I’m working my tail off but my paycheck sure doesn’t reflect it. Isn’t my employer supposed to pay me something when my tips are low?
Under Colorado law, tipped employees must be paid at least $5.21 an hour. When your tips and your hourly wage do not equal the Colorado minimum wage rate of $8.23 when calculated for a seven day workweek, your employer is to make up the difference. If your employer is not making up the difference on your paychecks, you should speak to a Colorado employment attorney for advice on your rights and protections.
I have to change clothes, walk from the changing room to the factory, and then clock in. This usually takes about 15 minutes to the beginning of my day and another 15 at the end of my day. Should I get paid for this time?
Yes. In most cases, federal and state laws say that employees are to be paid for pre-work and post-work job-related duties. If you are not being paid for the additional 30 minutes of work related duties you perform each day, you should speak with your employment attorney as soon as possible.
There are some cases where a salaried employee would be eligible for overtime. Federal law says that salaried employees who make less than $11.37 an hour may be entitled to overtime pay when they work more than 12 hours in a day or 40 hours in a week. Your employment law attorney will know if you are eligible for overtime.
My employer keeps taking the costs of uniforms from my paycheck, but employees have to buy their own uniforms. I told them I don’t want those fees taken from my check, but they continue. Can I do something to make them stop?
Is Your Employer Taking Advantage of You?
Talk to the Colorado Employment Attorneys at Ramos Law.
The Ramos Law employment attorneys understand that wage theft and exploitation are certainly not problems confined to just one type or class of employee. For this reason, we make it our practice to act as both a compassionate ear and a strong voice for Colorado’s exploited workers. We can help you find out if federal and state laws apply to your wage and hour situation and fight to get you your unpaid wages.
You work hard. You deserve to be paid for the hours you work. If you think you have not been paid proper wages and overtime, we want to help you. Put our expertise in employment law to work for you. Contact us at (303) 731-4477 for a no-cost, no-obligation evaluation of your situation.