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Classification of exempt employees

Like many other states, Colorado actually has a minimum wage, $10.20 an hour, that is higher than that required by the federal government. Colorado's Wage Order also requires that employers pay their hourly employees time-and-a-half, $15.30 an hour, when they work more than 40 hours in a week or more than 12 hours in a given day or shift.

As is the case at the federal level and in other states, there are certain people who receive an annual salary and are thus exempt from overtime rules. When employers are fair about this, it actually makes good sense to have these exceptions in place.

Unfortunately, though, some Denver-area employers who are less than scrupulous figure out that they can pay their employees a lot less by offering a salary and then requiring them to work well over 40 hours in a week. Colorado law does limit an employer somewhat, as even an exempt employee must be making at least the equivalent of Colorado's minimum wage in light of the number of hours they actually work each week.

Still, there may be some temptation on the part of an employer to misclassify an employee as a supervisor or an administrative employee when in fact they are more akin to a run-of-the-mill line worker that really does not have a lot of authority to make independent judgements.

While there might be some advantages to being labelled a supervisor or administrator, when it comes to getting paid properly, someone who has been improperly classified as such may find themselves working for near minimum wage and without the benefit of overtime. Depending on their situation, such a person may have valid wage and hour claims.

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