Breaks (Rest & Meal Periods)


Breaks and meal period regulations apply to employees and employers covered by the Colorado Minimum Wage Order.  For individuals covered under Colorado Minimum Wage Order, the following rules apply. 

Meal Periods

Employees shall be entitled to an uninterrupted and 'duty free' meal period of at least a thirty minute duration when the scheduled work shift exceeds five consecutive hours of work. The employees must be completely relieved of all duties and permitted to pursue personal activities to qualify as a non-work,uncompensated period of time. When the nature of the business activity or other circumstances exist that makes an uninterrupted meal period impractical, the employee shall be permitted to consume an “on-duty” meal while performing duties. Employees shall be permitted to fully consume a meal of choice “on the job” and be fully compensated for the “on-duty” meal period without any loss of time or compensation.

Deductions For Meals

The reasonable cost or fair market value of meals provided to the employee may be used as part of the minimum hourly wage. No profits to the employer may be included in the reasonable cost or fair market value of such meals furnished. The meal must be consumed before deductions are permitted.

Rest Periods

Every employer shall authorize and permit rest periods, which, insofar as practicable, shall be in the middle of each four-hour work period. A compensated ten-minute rest period for each four hours or major fractions thereof shall be permitted for all employees. Such rest periods shall not be deducted from the employee's wages. It is not necessary that the employee leave the premises for said rest period.


Amended Colorado Minimum Wage Order Number 35 (Sections 7 and 8)

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