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Colorado Minimum Wage Law

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

On Jan. 1, 2008, the Colorado minimum wage rose to $7.02 per hour, compared to the current federal minimum wage of $5.85 per hour. The state minimum wage applies to all workers except:

  • Administrative, executive/supervisor, professional, outside sales employees as well as elected officials and members of their staff
  • Companions, casual baby sitters and domestic workers employed by households or family members to perform duties in private residences
  • Property managers
  • Interstate drivers and drivers’ helpers, loaders or mechanics of motor carriers and taxi cab drivers
  • Bona fide volunteers
  • Students employed by sororities, fraternities, college clubs or dormitories; students employed in a work/study program; employees working in laundries of charitable institutions, which pay no wages to workers and inmates; and patient workers in institutional laundries.

Tipped employees: If your employees receive tips, you may pay them $4 per hour because the law allows for a tip credit of $3.02 per hour. But you must ensure that their pay and tips combined equal the state minimum wage.

Annual adjustment: Colorado adjusts it minimum wage annually based on the consumer price index for all urban customers, reflecting changes in the Denver-Boulder-Greeley metropolitan statistical area. The state will use the percentage increase from the first half of 2007 to the first half of 2008 to calculate the new minimum wage, which will take effect Jan. 1, 2009. The state is expected to publish the exact amount of the increase in mid-August 2008. (The tip credit will remain at $3.02.)

For further information, go to

Local ordinances: Local governments in Colorado sometimes legislate their own rules for employers within their jurisdictions. For example, contractors doing work for the city of Denver on contracts of at least $2,000 must pay their workers $9.91 per hour.

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