We at StaffScapes have provided some free advice based on the PEO questions we are most frequently asked! Please contact us if you have any more burning PEO related questions.
What government posters must I display in the workplace?
Both the federal government and individual states require that certain posters be displayed in the workplace.
How do I download the required Colorado minimum wage poster?
The Colorado minimum wage poster can be downloaded here:
For 2016, the minimum wage in Colorado is $8.31 per hour. Colorado reviews and revises this figure annually, based on the consumer price index (CPI) for the Denver Metro Area. Be sure to print and display a new poster each year. Remember, it must be displayed in a location frequently viewed by all employees, such as a break room. Please be informed about both the federal and the state minimum wage—you must pay the higher of the two.
Do I need to keep time records?
Yes. According to the Department of Labor and the Fair Labor Standards Act, you must retain three years of employee time records.
Can I exclude paying overtime to my employees if we have an agreement?
No. Employees are not allowed to waive their rights to fair wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act regardless of an agreement or contract. All non-exempt employees must be paid overtime for hours worked in excess of forty per week. Please note that individual states may have additional requirements. In Colorado, overtime also must be paid for hours worked over twelve in a workday.
Are salaried employees exempt from overtime?
It depends. Paying a salary to someone does not always qualify him or her as an exempt employee—there are additional considerations. If he or she is salaried but not exempt, the employee’s hours must still be tracked and overtime must be paid. For more information on exempt status qualifications, please contact StaffScapes or visit the Department of Labor webpage.
Can I pay my nonexempt employees on a salary basis?
Yes. However, their hours must be tracked and they must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Individual states may have additional requirements. In Colorado, overtime also must be paid for hours worked over twelve in a workday.
How do I determine if my employee is exempt from minimum wage and overtime?
The U.S. Department of Labor outlines specific requirements that must be met to be eligible for exempt status. More information can be obtained here.
Can I hold an employee’s paycheck because of theft?
If you have filed a police report and pressed charges, Colorado law allows you up to ten calendar days to conduct an audit after termination before remitting a final paycheck. If criminal charges are not filed within ninety days or the employee is found not guilty in a court of law and charges are dismissed, the employee is entitled to recover any withheld amounts. Individual state laws may differ. Currently, there is no federal law covering this issue.
What type of deductions can I make to my employees’ paychecks? Do I have to obtain written authorization from the employee for deductions?
According to the Department of Labor, employers are allowed to withhold standard payroll deductions such as taxes, insurance, 401k contributions, elective benefits and garnishments and similar court ordered deductions. Other deductions may be eligible if agreed upon in advance and documented in writing. These could include loans repayment, pay advances, goods or services, equipment, property and union dues.
I pay my non-exempt employees commission or piecework. Do I have to pay overtime?
Yes. You are required to track time worked on a time card and pay overtime for hours above forty per workweek. Individual states may have additional requirements. In Colorado, overtime also must be paid for hours worked over twelve in a workday.
When is an employee’s final paycheck due?
This is subject to state law. Currently in Colorado, if the employee resigns, his or her check may be issued on the next normally scheduled pay date. If an employee is terminated and your Human Resources department is located on-site, you must issue the check at the time of termination. If the payroll department is not regularly scheduled for operation at the time, the check must be issued within six hours of the start of the next workday. If your payroll department is located off-site, you must issue the check within 24 hours of the next workday.
What is the youngest age for employment?
According to federal law, no individual under the age of 14 is allowed to perform any work covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Individuals aged 14-15 may participate in non-hazardous and non-manufacturing jobs, subject to limitations on the number of hours worked. There are no hourly restrictions for individuals aged 16-17; however, they are not allowed to work in industries that are considered hazardous. There are no restrictions for employees aged 18 and above.
Do I have to provide breaks?
Not according to federal law. However, Colorado mandates a ten minute break for every four hours worked. In addition, a 30-minute unpaid lunch break is minimally required for employees working more than five consecutive hours. Laws of other states may differ.
My employees are claiming only enough tips to bring them up to minimum wage. Is this enough?
No. All tips in excess of $20 per month must be reported to you as the employer. All tip earnings, regardless of the monthly amount, must be claimed as income and be taxed accordingly. For more information, please visit here.
Do I have to pay my employees for meetings, lectures, training, travel time, waiting time or on-call time?
Generally the answer is yes. However, individual circumstances affect compensable time. Please contact StaffScapes for guidance.
What is the minimum wage for employees?
Currently, the Federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Colorado has established a minimum wage rate of $8.00 per hour for 2014. Employers must pay the higher of the federal or state minimum wage.
How often do I have to pay my employees?
Wages must be paid on a regular basis and at least monthly. Colorado requires that all employees be paid within ten days of the last day of the pay period. Laws of other states may be different.
What records must I keep regarding my employees?
It is important that you maintain records for payroll, time sheets, employee files, and other information. Each of these has a specified mandated retention period that can range from a few years to forever. All of this varies by state.
If federal and state wage laws differ, which one do I use?
Generally, you must follow whichever one benefits the employee the most. However, if only one law is enacted, either federal or state, you must follow that guideline.