What is Minimum Wage in Colorado?

What is Minimum Wage in Colorado?

Colorado, along with many other states, has a new minimum wage of $14.42 for this year.

What makes Colorado unique is that it involves the public in a rulemaking process before finalizing their minimum wage rates, unlike most other jurisdictions.

An image illustration of What is Minimum Wage in Colorado
What is Minimum Wage in Colorado
Source: (Freepik)

Colorado’s Rulemaking Process

Colorado has a set procedure for updating its minimum wage each year.

It typically starts in late September, when the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics begins developing the rules.

This includes a public hearing and a period where people can comment on the proposed changes.

After considering the feedback, the Division will finalize the updates by mid-November.

In 2023, this process resulted in a new minimum wage of $14.42 per hour, effective January 1st, 2024.

2024 PAY CALC Order

The Colorado minimum wage increased in 2024.

The new rates, effective January 1st, are $14.42 for most workers, $11.40 for tipped employees, and $12.26 for non-emancipated minors.

There’s also a minimum weekly pay update for agricultural range workers.

Exempt Salary Threshold Updates

  • Salary Bump for Office Workers: Colorado raised the minimum salary for certain white-collar jobs (administrative, executive, and professional) to $55,000 annually ($1,057.69 per week) as of January 1st, 2024.

These employees must also fulfill specific job duties to qualify for exemption from minimum           wage and overtime rules.

  • Other Pay Changes: The minimum pay for highly technical computer workers and highly compensated employees also increased in 2024.

Additionally, specific groups like drivers, helpers, and seasonal camp staff received updated              pay levels.

Minimum Wage Updates in Local Jurisdictions

Local Minimum Wage Variations:

Besides the state minimum wage increase, some Colorado cities and counties set their own higher rates.

Denver, Edgewater, and unincorporated Boulder County have local minimum wages that took effect on January 1st, 2024.

Employers must pay their workers the highest minimum wage that applies, whether it’s federal, state, or local.

This can be confusing, making it more challenging to keep track of wage rates across different regions.

Managing Updates to Minimum Wage Rates

Colorado Employers: Act Now on Minimum Wage!

Employers need to move quickly to comply with the new state minimum wage and any local increases that took effect on January 1st, 2024.

This can be especially tricky for businesses operating in multiple states.

The first step towards staying compliant is to make sure you understand and follow all the latest minimum wage rules.

What is considered a living wage in Colorado?

While Colorado’s minimum wage helps some get by, it doesn’t cover everything a family might need.

The estimated living wage in Colorado is the highest, at $16.54 per hour or $34,488 a year.

This takes into account costs like housing and food to afford a basic but decent standard of living.

An image illustration of Minimum Wage in Colorado
Minimum Wage in Colorado
Source: (Freepik)

What is the minimum wage for a salaried employee?

Colorado doesn’t have a single minimum wage for salaried employees.

There is, however, a minimum salary threshold that applies to certain salaried workers who can be exempt from overtime pay.

This threshold increases every year.

As of January 1, 2024, exempt salaried employees in Colorado must earn at least $55,000 annually.

What is Minimum Wage in Colorado Wrap-Up

Colorado’s minimum wage increased in 2024.

As of today, May 1st, 2024, most workers are entitled to at least $14.42 per hour.

There are also specific rates for tipped employees and non-emancipated minors.

It’s important to note that some Colorado cities and counties have set their own higher minimum wages, so you may be eligible for an even greater rate depending on your location.

Remember, employers must pay the highest applicable minimum wage.

Be sure to check your specific situation to determine the minimum wage that applies to you.


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