Strengthening Colorado Workers' Rights

To the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment

We nonprofit leaders, supporters and staff support overtime rights that will serve our larger missions and benefit the long-term health of our staff, our organizations, and the communities we serve.

IT’S ABOUT TIME.

We are supporters of mission-driven nonprofit organizations. Some of us contribute our labor as employees. Some of us contribute our dollars. Some of us contribute our time as volunteers. And some of us do all three.

We all support overtime rights for the hundreds of thousands of salaried Colorado workers who work long hours for low pay, including front-line restaurant and retail managers, office and clerical workers, and dedicated nonprofit staffers.

Restoring overtime rights will help our organizations carry out our larger missions By fighting back against normalization of the 50 or 60 hour workweek, we create the environment our state needs to excel economically while cultivating a culture of respect for the amazing things our residents do outside of work, including raising Colorado's children and dedicating ourselves to supporting and enriching our communities. That is, we create the  environment our state needs to excel economically while cultivating a culture of respect for the amazing things our residents do outside the office.

Restoration of overtime rights will strengthen our sector by ending the race-to-the bottom for employers who expect long hours for low pay. It will protect our clients from abuse, and we will protect our own budgets by ensuring that workers earning less than 2.5 times the minimum wage leave work after 40 hours in a week or 12 hours in a day unless their presence is really critical, in which case we can pay them overtime.  This change will mean more people will have time to spend with their families, invest in their communities, and volunteer for nonprofits.

For nonprofit employers in particular, requiring employees’ time be taken into consideration will help restore work-life balance, which means less turnover, less burnout, and higher productivity. Our organizations’ capacity to carry out our missions should not depend on employees putting in extra hours without extra pay — it’s not equitable, it’s not sustainable, and it’s not in line with our values.

The state should move without delay on rulemaking to restore the 40-hour workweek by updating the threshold for overtime exemption in Section 5 of the Colorado Minimum Wage Order.

Only workers making professional-level salaries of at least 2.5x the minimum wage should be exempt from overtime protections, not the rest of us. That means, that anyone earning the median income in our state or below should be entitled to overtime if their employer needs them to work more than 40 hours in a week or 12 hours in a day.  Today, that would mean that workers earning less than $62,400 per year should be entitled to time and a half for overtime hours, and that number would rise or fall with inflation as required by our constitutional minimum wage calculation.  

We firmly believe we cannot build a strong economy — or a strong nonprofit sector — on low salaries, unpaid work, high turnover, and a race to the bottom on compensation. By supporting the current effort to implement standards on a statewide basis, we can reset expectations about unpaid work across our sector and our entire economy and ensure that all employers respect workers’ time. In the long run, we’ll all be better for it.

Please join us in advocating for a minimum salary to protect workers from abuse of state overtime exemptions. Add your name to this petition and help us convince the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to update the law.



Petition by
Towards Justice
Denver, Colorado

To: To the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment
From: [Your Name]

We nonprofit leaders, supporters and staff support overtime rights that will serve our larger missions and benefit the long-term health of our staff, our organizations, and the communities we serve.

IT’S ABOUT TIME.

We are supporters of mission-driven nonprofit organizations. Some of us contribute our labor as employees. Some of us contribute our dollars. Some of us contribute our time as volunteers. And some of us do all three.

We all support overtime rights for the hundreds of thousands of salaried Colorado workers who work long hours for low pay, including front-line restaurant and retail managers, office and clerical workers, and dedicated nonprofit staffers.

Restoring overtime rights will help our organizations carry out our larger missions. By fighting back against normalization of the 50 or 60 hour workweek, we create the environment our state needs to excel economically while cultivating a culture of respect for the amazing things our residents do outside of work, including raising Colorado’s children and dedicating ourselves to supporting and enriching our communities. That is, we create the environment our state needs to excel economically while cultivating a culture of respect for the amazing things our residents do outside the office.

Restoration of overtime rights will strengthen our sector by ending the race-to-the bottom for employers who expect long hours for low pay. It will protect our clients from abuse, and we will protect our own budgets by ensuring that workers earning less than 2.5 times the minimum wage leave work after 40 hours in a week or 12 hours in a day unless their presence is really critical, in which case we can pay them overtime. This change will mean more people will have time to spend with their families, invest in their communities, and volunteer for nonprofits.

For nonprofit employers in particular, requiring employees’ time be taken into consideration will help restore work-life balance, which means less turnover, less burnout, and higher productivity. Our organizations’ capacity to carry out our missions should not depend on employees putting in extra hours without extra pay — it’s not equitable, it’s not sustainable, and it’s not in line with our values.
The state should move without delay on rulemaking to restore the 40-hour workweek by updating the threshold for overtime exemption in Section 5 of the Colorado Minimum Wage Order.

Only workers making professional-level salaries of at least 2.5x the minimum wage should be exempt from overtime protections, not the rest of us. That means, that anyone earning the median income in our state or below should be entitled to overtime if their employer needs them to work more than 40 hours in a week or 12 hours in a day. Today, that would mean that workers earning less than $62,400 per year should be entitled to time and a half for overtime hours, and that number would rise or fall with inflation as required by our constitutional minimum wage calculation.

We firmly believe we cannot build a strong economy — or a strong nonprofit sector — on low salaries, unpaid work, high turnover, and a race to the bottom on compensation. By supporting the current effort to implement standards on a statewide basis, we can reset expectations about unpaid work across our sector and our entire economy and ensure that all employers respect workers’ time. In the long run, we’ll all be better for it.
Please join us in advocating for a minimum salary to protect workers from abuse of state overtime exemptions. Add your name to this petition and help us convince the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to update the law.