Colorado Minimum Wage 2024 Update: What Is It?

Are you curious about the current minimum wage in Colorado and how it will change in 2024? Look no further! In this article, we will discuss the upcoming updates to Colorado’s minimum wage and its impact on businesses and workers.

Key Takeaways:

  • The current minimum wage in Colorado is $13.65 per hour.
  • Starting January 1, 2024, the minimum wage will increase to $14.42 per hour.
  • Denver has its own minimum wage, set to increase to $18.29 per hour in 2024.
  • Local minimum wages may vary across different municipalities in Colorado.
  • Businesses should prepare for the impact of minimum wage increases on labor costs.

Denver’s Minimum Wage Increase

The minimum wage in the City and County of Denver is set to increase to $18.29 per hour in 2024. This increase is part of Denver’s local minimum wage ordinance, which was approved unanimously by the Denver City Council in November 2019. The scheduled wage increase is necessary to ensure that wages keep up with the cost of living in Denver.

The minimum wage increase for tipped food and beverage workers in Denver in 2024 will be $15.27 per hour if they earn at least $3.02 in tips. This increase in the minimum wage will impact labor costs for businesses in Denver, and many restaurant owners expect to raise menu prices, reduce staffing levels, and reduce existing staff hours to accommodate for the higher labor costs.

Impact on Denver Businesses

Denver’s minimum wage increase will have significant implications for businesses in the city. The higher labor costs resulting from the wage hike may put financial pressure on businesses, particularly in the hospitality and service industries where tipping is common. To offset the increased labor expenses, many restaurant owners may be forced to make strategic adjustments such as:

  1. Increasing menu prices: Higher labor costs may lead to an increase in menu prices to maintain profit margins.
  2. Reducing staffing levels: Some businesses may need to reduce the number of employees to manage costs.
  3. Reducing staff hours: Existing staff may have their hours reduced to manage labor expenses more efficiently.

These adjustments aim to balance the increased labor costs with the financial sustainability of businesses in Denver.

Anticipated Challenges and Opportunities

While the minimum wage increase presents challenges for businesses, it also offers opportunities for employers to reassess their operations and explore innovative solutions. Some potential strategies to navigate the minimum wage increase include:

  • Implementing technology: Adopting technology solutions to automate processes and improve operational efficiency can help offset higher labor costs.
  • Offering training and development: Investing in employee training and development programs can enhance productivity and justify higher wages.
  • Improving customer service: Focusing on exceptional customer service can help businesses differentiate themselves and attract customers despite potential price increases.

Local Minimum Wages in Colorado

In Colorado, minimum wages can vary across different municipalities. Denver, for example, has its own minimum wage separate from the statewide minimum wage. As of January 1, 2023, the minimum wage in Denver is $17.29 per hour, and it is set to increase to $18.29 per hour in 2024.

Edgewater, another city in Colorado, will be implementing its local minimum wage starting in 2024, with rates increasing annually until 2028. Boulder County is also considering the introduction of a new minimum wage in unincorporated areas, with a proposed rate of $15.70 per hour in 2024. These local minimum wages are subject to certain restrictions and can only increase annually by a specified amount or percentage.

Denver Minimum Wage:

Year Minimum Wage
2023 $17.29
2024 $18.29

Edgewater Minimum Wage:

Year Minimum Wage
2024 Increase
2025 Increase
2026 Increase
2027 Increase
2028 Increase

Boulder County Minimum Wage (Proposed):

Year Minimum Wage
2024 $15.70

colorado local minimum wages

Historical Minimum Wage Rates in Colorado

Colorado’s commitment to fair compensation for workers is evident in its steady increase in minimum wage rates over the past decade. In 2013, the minimum wage stood at $7.78 per hour. However, over time, Colorado has recognized the need to ensure livable wages for its workforce, resulting in a significant rise in minimum wage rates. As of 2023, the minimum wage has reached $13.65 per hour.

This upward trend in minimum wage rates demonstrates Colorado’s dedication to maintaining fair pay for workers, aligning with the state’s progressive values. In 2024, the minimum wage in Colorado is set to increase to $14.42 per hour, continuing the positive trajectory of supporting workers’ financial well-being.

Historical Minimum Wage Rates in Colorado:

Year Minimum Wage
2013 $7.78
2014 $8.00
2015 $8.23
2016 $8.31
2017 $9.30
2018 $10.20
2019 $11.10
2020 $12.00
2021 $12.32
2022 $12.56
2023 $13.65
2024 (Projected) $14.42

The consistent increase in minimum wage rates reflects Colorado’s ongoing efforts to provide fair compensation and uphold workers’ rights. The rise in minimum wage rates has implications for businesses, as they adjust their labor budgets to accommodate these changes.

colorado minimum wage history

Minimum Wage Colorado State Federal
2023 $13.65 per hour $7.25 per hour
2024 $14.42 per hour $7.25 per hour
2025 $15.20 per hour $7.25 per hour

Minimum Wage Exemptions in Colorado

Colorado has several exemptions to the minimum wage and overtime laws outlined in the Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards (COMPS) Order #38. These exemptions are designed to provide flexibility for certain job roles and industries. Employers and employees should be aware of these exemptions to ensure compliance with both state and federal laws.

Exemptions in Colorado

Here are some of the key exemptions to the minimum wage laws in Colorado:

  • Executive exemption: This applies to employees who primarily perform executive duties and have the authority to make significant decisions.
  • Administrative exemption: This exemption is for employees who primarily perform administrative tasks related to business operations.
  • Professional exemption: Professionals, such as lawyers, doctors, and teachers, who are licensed and perform work that requires advanced knowledge or skills, may be exempt from minimum wage laws.
  • Outside salesman exemption: Salespeople who work primarily outside of a physical office and whose primary duty is making sales may be exempt from minimum wage laws.
  • Computer employee exemption: Employees who work in computer-related positions and meet certain criteria, such as job duties and salary thresholds, may be exempt from minimum wage laws.

In addition to these exemptions, there are various other exemptions for specific industries or job roles. These exemptions recognize that certain positions may warrant different wage standards based on the nature of the work performed.

It is important to note that these exemptions in Colorado may differ from federal exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers should carefully review both the state and federal laws to ensure compliance and determine which exemptions apply to their specific circumstances.

colorado minimum wage exemptions

Key Takeaways:

  • Minimum wage increases can significantly impact businesses by raising labor costs.
  • This may prompt businesses to raise prices or make staffing adjustments.
  • Small businesses, in particular, may face challenges sustaining the same number of employees.
  • The economic effects of minimum wage increases are a matter of ongoing debate.

Resources for Colorado Small Business Owners

If you’re a small business owner in Colorado, you don’t have to navigate minimum wage laws and labor law compliance on your own. The state offers a range of resources and support to help you stay informed and ensure you’re meeting your legal obligations.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment is an invaluable resource for obtaining the most up-to-date information and guidance on labor law posters and other compliance requirements. Their website provides easy access to resources, publications, and FAQs to help you understand and adhere to Colorado’s labor laws.

In addition to government resources, small business owners can explore technology solutions like Square Payroll software. This software not only helps streamline your payroll processes, but it also provides access to small business resources for additional support in managing your workforce and financial planning.

By taking advantage of these resources, you can ensure that your small business is in compliance with labor laws in Colorado, minimize the risk of legal complications, and focus on growing your business with confidence.

FAQ

What is the minimum wage in Colorado?

As of 2023, the minimum wage in Colorado is $13.65 per hour.

What is the current minimum wage in the City and County of Denver?

The current minimum wage in Denver is $17.29 per hour.

Will the minimum wage in Denver increase in 2024?

Yes, starting on January 1, 2024, the minimum wage in Denver will increase to $18.29 per hour.

What is the minimum wage for tipped food and beverage workers in Denver in 2024?

The minimum wage for tipped food and beverage workers in Denver in 2024 will be $15.27 per hour if they earn at least $3.02 in tips.

Does Colorado have different minimum wages across municipalities?

Yes, different municipalities in Colorado can have their own minimum wage rates. Denver, for example, has a separate minimum wage from the statewide minimum wage.

Are there other cities in Colorado with their own local minimum wages?

Yes, Edgewater will be implementing its local minimum wage in 2024, and Boulder County is considering introducing a new minimum wage in unincorporated areas.

How much has Colorado’s minimum wage increased over the years?

Colorado’s minimum wage has steadily increased from $7.78 per hour in 2013 to $13.65 per hour in 2023. In 2024, it is set to increase to $14.42 per hour.

How does Colorado’s minimum wage compare to the federal minimum wage?

Colorado’s minimum wage is significantly higher than the federal minimum wage. As of 2023, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, while Colorado’s minimum wage is $13.65 per hour.

Are there any exemptions to Colorado’s minimum wage laws?

Yes, Colorado has exemptions for certain job roles and industries, as outlined in the Colorado Overtime and Minimum Pay Standards (COMPS) Order #38.

How can small business owners in Colorado prepare for minimum wage increases?

Small business owners can evaluate staffing levels, consider hiring needs, explore technology solutions like automatic payroll, and consult with professionals to ensure compliance with minimum wage laws.

What impact do minimum wage increases have on businesses?

Minimum wage increases can impact labor costs for businesses, leading to potential changes in pricing, staffing levels, and job opportunities.

What resources are available for Colorado small business owners to navigate minimum wage laws?

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and technology solutions like Square Payroll software can provide guidance on labor law compliance and offer additional small business resources.