The Sawaya Law Firmhas ongoing investigations into wage and hour violations. If you are a non-exempt employee, your employer typically must pay you minimum wage that complies with both federal and state law for all hours worked and must pay you overtime at one-and-a-half times your regular hourly rate for hours worked in excess of twelve hours a day or forty hours a week. Many employees are misclassified as salaried or exempt employees when legally they are entitled to overtime. If you believe you may not be getting the pay you have earned, please contact us or complete the free consultation form to the right to discuss your potential claim.

Some common areas of pay violations include:

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Someone is always available to answer your call and talk to you about your wage & hour situation. You can also email us about your case. There is no obligation or cost for a consultation.

Commissioned Employees

Some employers use payment by commission and other complicated pay schemes as a way to avoid paying overtime. While some of these methods are legal, many are not. If you cannot understand your pay structure, it may be because it violates the law.

Truck Drivers

Truck drivers that drive between different states or transport goods going from one state to another are typically exempted from overtime pay. But many employers use that as an excuse to deprive all truck drivers of overtime pay, even if they are not exempt.

Off-the-Clock Work

Some employers improperly withhold pay for work required at the beginning or end of their shifts or when their equipment breaks down. Employers do not have to pay for certain things that are considered part of getting to or leaving work, but if you are at your worksite, traveling from one work site to another during your work day, or doing something that is a necessary part of your job, you should be getting paid.

Tipped Employees

Tips belong to employees. Unless employers’ post a notice to the public that they take a portion of their employees’ gratuities, they cannot do so under Colorado law. If your wages and tips combined do not add up to federal or state minimum wage, your employer may be required to pay you more. If you are required to share your tips with employees who do not customarily receive tips, your employer also may be required to pay you more.

Rest Periods and Lunch Breaks

Colorado law requires employers to give workers a paid ten-minute break for every four hours worked and an unpaid, uninterrupted thirty-minute lunch break for any shift exceeding five hours. If you work through lunch without pay or do not get your legally required breaks, you are entitled to pay, and you may be entitled to time-and-a-half if you have already worked a twelve-hour shift or forty-hour work week.


Employers who require uniforms must pay for them. They cannot deduct the cost from employees’ paychecks.

Independent Contractors

Many employers misclassify their employees as independent contractors so that they do not have to pay them as much. If your employer controls how and when you do your job, you may be an employee and eligible for more pay and benefits.


Students are frequently taken advantage of by employers and schools, either by working as unpaid or underpaid interns or by being required to perform other free work. Schools that teach hands-on trades, such as massage and cosmetology, frequently require students to provide free labor in the form of massages or haircuts given to the public. But though the students are not paid, the schools charge the public for the services and profit off of their students’ free work. Students should be paid for their work, especially when their schools are profiting off of their labor.


Students are frequently taken advantage of by employers as unpaid or underpaid interns. Under federal law, unpaid internships are only permissible when they include training similar to that of an educational environment; are for the benefit of the intern and not the employer; and do not take the place of regular employees. If an internship does not meet these criteria, employers must pay interns at least minimum wage.