Colorado Meal Breaks Laws
The state of Colorado is one of nineteen other states to posses its own mealtime laws. Because Colorado has its own state laws for workers, no federal laws are in practice. The state of Colorado guarantees all its workers mealtime breaks when hired. The law states that if an employee works five hours or more he or she has the right to have a break for meals.
The only instance where this is not in effect is where an individual clocks out of work for the day after the sixth hour or less. In these circumstances a break is not necessarily required. Colorado has implemented these meal break laws as the federal government does not require them. The federal government states that an employee can legally work ten hours and not have any required breaks.
Much of the time if an employee stays after hours to complete work and goes over his or her weekly allotted time, the employer is not required to pay the employee for the extra hours. In Colorado the employer is required to pay his or her employee for the hours of overtime. The Fair Labor Standards Act requires employers to adhere to this law when an employee is required to work or it is necessary to work.
Colorado state law also requires employers to pay employees for any downtime while on the job. If an employee is designated to work between eight in the morning and five in the afternoon and he or she is not given work, his or her employer is still required to pay him or her for his or her time. Employees who are on call are not considered for this right.
If an employee has left the workplace before his or her shift was completed and then later returned, the employer is also not required to pay him or her for that time. Such time, as well as those on call, is not considered time worked by the state. However is an employee left the workplace for an assignment and then later returned to the workplace afterward, he or she is subject to payment, despite leaving.
Colorado Maternity Leave Laws
When an employee must take time off for maternity purposes, an employer cannot legally terminate the employee on this basis. An employee also cannot be fired because she is pregnant or will soon go on maternity leave. Maternity leave is designed to allow individuals the necessary opportunity to bond with their newborns as well as allow adoptive parents time to bond with new children.
Federal law states that an employee is subject to twelve weeks of mandatory leave for these kinds of medical necessities. Under the federal Pregnancy Discrimination Act all new parents are protected for this kind of leave. Federal law also states that upon return, an employee is to be given his or her former occupation or an occupation of equal pay and status. If a company is downsizing or occupations are to be terminated, those on maternity leave or not exempt simply because they are protected by other laws.