It Starts With You - Building a better Colorado


For Employers

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is collaborating with industry partners to educate employers in the construction industry on compliance around proper worker classification.

How do I know if a worker is an employee or an independent contractor?

Colorado law uses a two-part test to determine if a worker is an employee:

  1. Whether or not the individual is controlled and directed in the performance of the service, both under the contract for the performance of service and in fact. Examples include: wearing a uniform, being told when and where to show up, and being told what to work on.
  2. Whether or not the individual is customarily engaged in an independent trade, occupation, profession, or business related to the service performed. For example, if someone routinely travels from site to site to perform services on his or her own schedule and with his or her own tools, that may indicate independence.

Overall, the totality of circumstances is the basis for proper worker classification.

Man in hard hat

Request an Advisory Opinion

If you would like to request an advisory opinion on whether you should classify individuals as employees or independent contractors, please complete the request form below and include a nonrefundable payment of $100 made payable to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

Understanding Unemployment Insurance – Employer Workshops

CDLE’s Division of Unemployment Insurance hosts free educational presentations across Colorado to help employers better understand Colorado’s unemployment insurance laws. The free workshop is for employers only and provides an opportunity to build knowledge, improve practices, and make sense of our state’s unemployment insurance system. Employers will learn their rights and responsibilities and be able to implement a penalty-proof program.

Topics include:
– Correct wage reporting
– How premiums and benefits are calculated
– Accurate premium payments
– Using online tools to manage unemployment insurance premium accounts
– Proper classification of workers as employees or independent contractors
– Understanding the unemployment insurance audit and appeals process


Mini guide

Proper Classification
Mini Guide

Your guide to proper worker classification.

Know your rights poster

Workplace Rights

Required worksite poster.

Misclassification Poster

Proper Classification

Are you an employee or an independent contractor?