Tag Archives: Colorado minimum wage

December 28, 2017

Colorado Minimum Wage Goes Up To $10.20 Per Hour On January 1

By Emily Hobbs-Wright

Minimum wage employees in Colorado will get a raise in the new year. The state minimum wage goes up by ninety cents per hour, from the current $9.30 to $10.20, beginning January 1, 2018.

Annual Increases Approved By Voters In 2016

The upcoming minimum wage increase is the result of a ballot effort last year to increase Colorado’s minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020. In the November 2016 election, Colorado voters approved Amendment 70 which raises the state’s hourly minimum wage by 90 cents per hour each year, as follows:

  • $10.20 effective 1/1/18
  • $11.10 effective 1/1/19
  • $12.00 effective 1/1/20

After 2020, annual cost-of-living increases will be made to the mandatory minimum wage.

Tipped Employees

Under Colorado law, employers may take a tip credit of $3.02 off the full minimum wage for employees who regularly receive tips. Consequently, the minimum wage that must be paid to tipped workers will go up by 90 cents on January 1, 2018 as well. The applicable minimum wage for tipped workers for upcoming years is as follows:

  • $7.18 effective 1/1/18
  • $8.08 effective 1/1/19
  • $8.98 effective 1/1/20

Remember that if tips combined with wages does not equal the state minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference in cash wages.

Take steps now to ensure that your payroll system is ready to comply with the increased minimum wage beginning January 1.

November 9, 2016

Colorado Minimum Wage Hike Passes

6a013486823d73970c01b8d1dc5d4a970c-120wiBy Mark Wiletsky

Colorado voters decided to raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour over the next four years. By about a 54-to-46 margin, Colorado passed Amendment 70 which amends the Colorado constitution to gradually raise the state’s minimum wage.

Gradual Increases In Minimum Wage

Amendment 70 raises the hourly minimum wage in Colorado by 90 cents per hour each year, starting from the 2016 minimum wage of $8.31. The annual increases will be as follows:

  • $9.30 in 2017
  • $10.20 in 2018
  • $11.10 in 2019
  • $12.00 in 2020

Tipped employees will continue to be entitled to a minimum wage that is $3.02 per hour less than the regular state minimum wage. The minimum wage for tipped workers is currently $5.29 per hour, plus tips. It will then go up by 90 cents per hour each year until reaching $8.98 in 2020.

After 2020, annual adjustments will be made to reflect increases in the cost of living.

Adjustments Already in Colorado Constitution

This is not the first time that Colorado voters have approved a Constitutional amendment increasing the minimum wage. In 2006, Colorado voters approved Initiative 42 which increased the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.85 per hour, and added a provision to the Colorado Constitution that requires an annual adjustment in the state minimum wage based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). That measure was approved with 53 percent voting “yes” and 47 percent voting “no.” Under that amendment, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has set the state minimum hourly wage each year, adjusting it either up or down according to the changes in the CPI over the prior year.

Under this year’s Amendment 70, the minimum wage will only be adjusted up for increases in the CPI. It will not go down, even if the cost of living decreases. Read more >>

November 4, 2015

2016 Colorado Minimum Wage Going Up To $8.31 Per Hour

Hobbs-Wright_EBy Emily Hobbs-Wright 

Minimum wage workers in Colorado will see a one percent increase in their hourly wage in 2016. The Colorado Division of Labor has proposed to increase the minimum wage from the current $8.23 per hour to $8.31 per hour beginning January 1, 2016. The minimum wage for tipped employees will increase from $5.21 to $5.29 per hour. 

The Colorado Constitution mandates that the state minimum wage rates be automatically adjusted for inflation each year. The new wage rates for 2016 reflect that the consumer price index (CPI) for the Denver-Boulder-Greeley urban area for the first half of 2015 went up overall by one percent from the first half of 2014. The Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that higher costs for housing, up 5.5%, were largely responsible for the overall increase. Food prices rose 1.5 percent and other items were up 3.2%. Despite a 21.7% decrease in energy costs, the overall CPI for urban consumers was up one percent. 

Proposed Minimum Wage Order Number 32 will be up for comment at a public hearing on November 9, 2015, after which the Division of Labor will issue its final rule. Information about the hearing and submitting written comments is available on the Division’s website

As a reminder, Colorado’s state minimum wage rates apply if either of the following two situations applies to an employee: 

1. The employee is covered by the minimum wage provisions of Colorado Minimum Wage Order Number 32; or 

2. The employee is covered by the minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

If in doubt about the application of Colorado’s wage laws, be sure to consult with your employment counsel.

Click here to print/email/pdf this article.