Back

Payroll and Benefits Guide United States – Colorado

Last updated: Mar 22, 2023

Currency
United States Dollar (USD)
Employer Taxes
11.01% - 26.65%
Payroll Frequency
Monthly/Semi-monthly
Employee Costs
9.75%
Capital
Denver
Date Format
mm/dd/yyyy
Fiscal Year
1 January - 31 December
video poster

Contribution

Employer Employer Payroll Contributions
0.06% – 10.30% (Maximum taxable wages is 17,000.00 USD) Unemployment Insurance (State)
2.70% Unemployment- New Employer (State)
6.20% (Maximum taxable wages is 160,200 USD) FICA Social Security (Federal)
1.45% FICA Medicare (Federal)
0.60% -6.00% (Maximum taxable wages is 7,000 USD) FUTA (Federal Unemployment Tax Act) The FUTA tax rate is 6.0% with a taxable wage base of 7,000 USD. However, if states operate their unemployment insurance programs in compliance with federal law, then the FUTA tax is reduced (credit) by 5.4% to 0.6%.
11.01% – 26.65% Total Employment Cost
Employee Employee Payroll Contributions
1.20% (Maximum taxable wages is 160,200.00  USD) Colorado Disability Insurance
6.20% (Maximum taxable wages is 160,200.00  USD) FICA Social Security (Federal)
1.45% (Maximum taxable wages is 160,200.00 USD) FICA Medicare (Federal)
0.90% Additional tax on earnings over 200,000 USD (High-income earners also pay an additional 0.9 percent in Medicare taxes)
9.75%    Total Employee Cost
State Employee Income Tax
4.40% Flat rate for single and married coupled filing jointly
Standard Deduction and Personal Exemption
Single N/A
couple /Married Filing Jointly N/A
Personal exemption
Federal Employee Income Tax
Federal Tax – Singles
10.00% Up to 11,000 USD
12.00% 11,001 USD to 44,725 USD
22.00% 44,726 USD to 95,375 USD
24.00% 95,376 USD to 182,100 USD
32.00% 182,101 USD to 231.250 USD
35.00% 231,251 USD to 578,125 USD
37.00% 578,126 USD or more
Federal Tax – Married, filing jointly
10.00% Up to 22,000 USD
12.00% 22,001 USD to 89,450 USD
22.00% 89,451 USD to 190,750 USD
24.00% 190,751 USD to 364,200 USD
32.00% 364,201 USD to 462,500 USD
35.00% 462,501 USD to 693,750 USD
37.00% 693,751 USD or more
Federal Tax – Heads of Households
10.00% Up to 15,700 USD
12.00% 15,701 USD to 59,850 USD
22.00% 59,851 USD to 95,350 USD
24.00% 95,351 USD to 182,100 USD
32.00% 182,101 USD to 231,250 USD
35.00% 231,251 USD to 578,100 USD
37.00% 578,101 USD or more
Standard Deduction and Personal Exemption
13,850.00 USD Single
27,700.00 USD Married Filing Jointly
20,800.00 USD Head of Household

Minimum Wage

General

The minimum wage in Colorado is 13.65 USD per hour.

There are also other minimum requirements:

Minimum cash wage (tipped employee): 10.62 USD per hour

Maximum Tip Credit: 3.02 USD

Youth Minimum Wage: 11.60 USD

Payroll

Payroll Cycle

Employees are paid semi-monthly and monthly.

13th Salary

There are no provisions in the law regarding 13th salaries.

Working Hours

General

In Colorado, the workweek is a maximum of 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day.

Overtime

Colorado adheres to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), and work in excess of 40 hours per week is considered overtime and paid at the rate of 150% of the regular pay. If employees are scheduled to work on weekends or rest days, no additional payment is required. However, should an employer request an employee to work in exceptional circumstances on these days, then overtime is paid at the rate of 150% of the regular pay.

Leave

Annual Leave (vacation)

Colorado does not have any state laws that govern paid time off. However, it is common for employers to decide whether to offer paid or unpaid vacation leave. This must comply with employment law and must be stipulated in the collective bargaining agreements.

Public Holidays

Public holidays are not mandatory paid days off, but employers commonly allow workers to take federal holidays as paid days off.

Some companies might also agree to allow workers to take off state holidays; workers can find specific state holiday dates from their local government.

Usually when an agreed public holiday falls on a weekend, a day off in lieu is given on the Friday before or the Monday after the holiday.

Date Day Holiday Note
1 Jan 2024 Monday New Year’s Day
15 Jan 2024 Monday Martin Luther King Jr. Day
19 Feb 2024 Monday Presidents Day
27 May 2024 Monday Memorial Day
19 Jun 2024 Wednesday Juneteenth Independence Day
4 Jul 2024 Thursday Independence Day July
2 Sep 2024 Monday Labor Day
14 Oct 2024 Monday Columbus Day
11 Nov 2024 Monday Veterans Day
28 Nov 2024 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
25 Dec 2024 Wednesday Christmas Day

 

Sick Days

It is common for an employer to follow the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which provides certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year for certain family and medical reasons (maternity leave, serious illnesses, or if the employee needs to care for a spouse or child).

Employees are eligible for FMLA if they have worked for their employer for at least one year, completed a minimum of 1,250 hours over the past year, and worked at a location where the company employs 50 or more employees within 75 miles.

FMLA eligible employees are entitled to:

  • 12 working weeks of leave in any one year for a child’s birth and to care for the newborn child within one year of birth.
  • Leave for the adoption or foster care of a child and care for the newly placed child within one year of placement.
  • Care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a severe health condition.
  • Leave in the event of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of their job.
  • Any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on “covered active duty.”

Or

  • 26 working weeks of leave during a single one-year period to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness if the eligible employee is the service member’s spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin (military caregiver leave).

In addition to the FMLA, employers with more than 16 employees must provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours of paid sick leave.

In addition to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Colorado also has the Colorado Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. This act requires employers to provide pregnant employees with modified work environments, including longer breaks, light-duty, job restructuring, modification of equipment (including seating), etc.

Colorado’s Adoptive Parents Leave states employers must provide the same rights regarding maternity and paternity leave for both biological and adoptive parents, including any other employment benefits such as job protection and salary rates of pay.

Maternity Leave

Maternity leave falls under the FMLA and Pregnancy Discrimination Act (see Sick Leave).

Paternity Leave

Paternity leave may fall under FMLA (see Sick Leave).

Parental Leave

Parental leave falls under the FMLA and Colorado’s Adoptive Parents Leave (see Sick Leave).

Other Leave

  • Jury Duty: Full-time, regular employees are entitled to job-protected, paid leave for the first 3 days of jury duty at the rate of 50.00 USD per day (this can be more if stipulated in the contract). Employees must provide a copy of the jury summons to the employer. An employee is not entitled to compensation for time spent as a witness in a case, responding to a subpoena, or acting as a plaintiff or defendant in the courts.
  • Voting Leave: Employees who are registered to vote must be allowed up to two hours of paid leave to vote in any municipal, county, state, or federal primary or general election. Employees must provide reasonable notice to their employers to take time off to vote.
  • In addition to the federal law USERRA, Colorado law provides protection against discrimination for members of U.S. armed forces, reserves, National Guard, commissioned corps of the public health service, and any other category of persons designated by the president in a time of war or emergency. Colorado law provides up to 15 days of unpaid leave per year to members of the National Guard or the U.S. armed forces to attend military training. These members also have reinstatement rights to their former positions if they are still qualified and have satisfactorily completed the training.

PAID MATERNITY LEAVE (DAYS)

Highest
Lowest

Termination

Termination Process

Except in mass dismissals or as provided for in an employment contract or a collective bargaining agreement, U.S. law does not impose a formal notice period to terminate an individual employment relationship, and employment is stipulated “at will.” This means that either the employer or the employee may end the employment relationship without giving either notice or reason, provided it is not illegal, notable discrimination on the grounds of a category protected by law, etc., and as per the Federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN).

The employment contracts of executives and other highly skilled individuals often incorporate a “just cause termination” clause which mandates that the employer may only terminate the employee for “cause” and lists the permissible grounds. In such cases, the parties negotiate the foundations for a “just cause” termination.

Notice Period

In Colorado, most employees are employed “at-will,” and either party can terminate the employment relationship without notice. In Colorado, payout of unused vacation time is not required by law. However, it is common for employers to pay an employee for unused vacation days, provided the employee gave some advanced notice of resignation. While there is no notice period, general practice is 2 weeks.

In mass dismissal cases the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act) must be followed, and employers must give 60 days’ notice to impacted employees.

Severance Pay

Except as otherwise provided in an employment contract or collective bargaining agreement, employers need not make severance payments to terminated employees. Many employers choose to offer severance pay based on the length of employment.

Probation Period

There are no provisions in the law regarding probation or trial periods. However, it is common practice for employers to set a performance evaluation after an initially stated period of employment of 90 days.

VISA

VISA

Foreign nationals without permanent resident status or a work visa are not permitted to work in the United States. An employer seeking to hire a foreign national may file a petition with the United States Department of Homeland Security/ United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) for an employment visa on behalf of the prospective employee. If the petition is approved, the prospective employee must obtain a “visa stamp” from a United States embassy or consulate (Canadian citizens are exempt from this requirement). To get a temporary U.S. work visa, an employer must file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An approved petition must be part of the visa request; the types of visas include:

  • H-1B – for applicants with a college degree hired to do specialized work. The visa is valid for three years and can be extended for an additional three years. The visa is connected to the employer that filed the petition. If there is a change of employer, the new employer must repeat the process. There are 65,000 H-1B visas available each year.
  • H-1B1 – for applicants with a college degree from Chile and Singapore. The US government grants up to 1,400 visas to Chilean citizens and 5,400 from Singapore each year.
  • H-2A – for temporary or seasonal agriculture work. It is limited to citizens of qualified countries. Usually valid for up to 1 year and can be extended to a maximum of 3 years.
  • H-2B – for temporary non-agricultural work. These visas are limited to citizens of qualified countries. Usually valid for up to 1 year and can be extended to a maximum of 3 years.
  • L – for intercompany transfers (people transferred from a foreign company to a US branch of the company.) The applicant must have been employed at the company for a year before the transfer and work in a managerial level position or higher with specialized knowledge.
  • 0 – for people with extraordinary ability in science, arts, education, business, or athletics.

The standard procedure is to obtain a short-term work visa and then apply for an immigrant visa after the employee has started working in the United States.

For those seeking employment-based immigrant visas:

  • E-1 – highest priority employment for those with extraordinary ability in science, arts, education, business, and athletics.
  • E-2 – for those with advanced degrees or exceptional ability.
  • E-3 – for skilled workers and professionals, as well as unskilled workers.
  • E-4 – members of certain immigrant groups.
  • E-5 – immigrant investors in US companies (substantial investment).

Alternatively, an employer may sponsor a potential employee’s application for permanent resident status, referred to as a “green card,” if the employee can establish that the potential employee is a multinational executive/manager transferee, has unique skills, or has been offered a job in the United States. The employer must have been unable to recruit a U.S. worker who meets the position’s minimum requirements.

All employers are obligated to verify that all individuals they employ are authorized to work in the United States.

VAT

General

Colorado has a minimum combined sales tax rate of 7.72% (state tax is 2.90% and local tax is 4.82%).

Stay up to date on payroll & employment law changes

Version History

February 7, 2022
The minimum wage in Colorado is now 12.56 USD per hour. Minimum cash wage (tipped employee): 9.54 USD per hour.
Payroll contributions and personal income tax rates have been updated.
January 1, 2021
Minimum wage: raised to $12.32. Tipped employee minimum wage raised to $9.30.
Income Tax: Colorado’s flat tax drops to 4.55%.
SUTA State Unemployment Tax: Changed to 0.71% – 9.64%.
Sick leave: Employers with 16 employees or more must provide 1 hour of sick leave for every 30 worked, up to a maximum of 48 hours of sick leave.
More

Questions & Answers

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Download this guide to read later

Payroll and Benefits Guide in United States – Colorado

Download Free Guide

See how Papaya can help you automate your global payroll or EoR whilst staying 100% compliant with local labor laws

The information provided in the Papaya Global Web site is provided for informational purposes only. The materials are general in nature; they are not offered as advice on a particular matter and should not be relied on as such. Use of this Web site does not constitute a legal contract or consulting relationship between Papaya Global and any person or entity. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, Papaya Global makes no guarantees of any kind. Papaya Global reserves the right to change the content of this site at any time without prior notice. Papaya Global is not responsible for any third party material that can be accessed through this Web site. The materials contained on this Web site are the copyrighted property of Papaya Global unless a separate copyright notice is placed on the material. Papaya Global grants each user a non-exclusive, non-transferable license to access and download, display and print one copy of the content of this Web site on a single computer solely for internal, business use, provided that the user does not modify the site content in any way and that all copyright and other notices displayed on the site content are retained. Other reproduction, distribution, republication and re-transmission of materials contained within this Web site require Papaya Global’s prior permission.
Download this guide to read later

Payroll and Benefits Guide
in United States – Colorado

What’s covered in this guide:

  • Employer/employee contributions
  • Minimum wage
  • Working hours
  • Visa requirements

And more...

Download free guide
All questions are answered by our in-house compliance department working in conjunction with our local in-country partner for this specific country

Public Holidays Calendar

United States – Colorado
Download:
CSV
PDF
ICS
Date Day Holiday Note
1 Jan 2024 Monday New Year’s Day
15 Jan 2024 Monday Martin Luther King Jr. Day
19 Feb 2024 Monday Presidents Day
27 May 2024 Monday Memorial Day
19 Jun 2024 Wednesday Juneteenth Independence Day
4 Jul 2024 Thursday Independence Day July
2 Sep 2024 Monday Labor Day
14 Oct 2024 Monday Columbus Day
11 Nov 2024 Monday Veterans Day
28 Nov 2024 Thursday Thanksgiving Day
25 Dec 2024 Wednesday Christmas Day