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New overtime rules finalized for Colorado agricultural workers

colorado farm.jpg
Posted at 12:09 AM, Nov 12, 2021

DENVER — Colorado officially adopted new overtime rules for agricultural workers Thursday.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment Division of Labor Standards and Statistics published it’s revised Agricultural Overtime Rules as part of the Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards Order.

The standards have been revised based on feedback from farm owners who said they could not afford to pay time-and-a-half on a 40-hour work week.

The agriculture industry has traditionally been exempt from paying workers overtime.

With the new rules, kicks in after 48 hours have been clocked during regular weeks. In the peak season, overtime doesn’t hit until workers clock 56 hours in a work week.

There are also daily overtime protections that will go into place.

Any shift over 12 and 15 hours must come with added compensation and protections.

There will also be added heat protections for agricultural workers when temperatures reach over 80 degrees.

The CDLE says expanding overtime rights to discourage excess hours will increase both jobs and safety.

The new rules took into consideration extensive input from hundreds of Colorado workers and employers, according to the CDLE.

To allow employers time to consider options, like increasing hiring or adjusting schedules to limit overtime, it will be a year before overtime starts and two to three years before full overtime requirements.