During the 2019 legislative session, the Colorado legislature enacted a new statute permitting local governments to set a jurisdiction-wide minimum wage. In November 2019, the Denver City Council created Denver Revised Municipal Code Chapter 58-16, which sets the local minimum wage for Denver and prescribes the means for setting, enforcing, and complying with the new local minimum wage.
The citywide minimum wage rate is required to increase annually according to the calculation of the Consumer Price Index. Ordinance requires the Denver Department of Finance to perform this calculation, while our office enforces the calculated rate and educated employers year-round. Read more about Finance's calculation here.
All complaints must be made in writing. We will assist anyone making a complaint in completing the necessary forms.
We encourage any party making a complaint to share contact information. We make every effort to keep complainant’s information confidentiality. Communication between the complainant and the investigator can dramatically assist an investigation.
Denver Labor receives a complaint about a minimum wage violation.
Complaint will be reviewed to ensure initial investigation requirements.
Denver Labor contacts the employer to request employee, payroll and compliance documentation.
Denver Labor re-examine the complaint, considering all information provided by the complainant and employer.
If employer has underpaid complainant, Denver Labor informs both parties of amount and levies applicable fines on employer for violations.
Employer provides evidence of complete restitution.
Without evidence, the case is referred to another agency for investigation or to an outside firm for collection of restitution.
The complaint will be reviewed to ensure initial investigation requirements:
3. The work was performed within the City and County of Denver.
Denver law requires employers conducting business in Denver to retain records demonstrating compliance with Denver’s minimum wage law.
3.No special format or recordkeeping system is required.
4.Records must be retained for current and past employees.
3. Any deductions made from worker wages, including any taxes withheld.
4. The net amount of wages received by each worker.
January 1 of each year.
The citywide minimum wage will increase to $17.29 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2023. If food and beverage industry employers claim the full tip credit of $3.02 per hour, the tipped wage would be $14.27.
Transcript of Denver Wages Timeline(PDF, 69KB)
No, Denver will be among several dozen cities nationwide with minimum wages above $17 per hour. In 2023, some peer cities will already be above $18 per hour.
According to ordinance, the Denver Department of Finance calculates the annual increase based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The methodology is laid out in ordinance and is similar to how the State of Colorado calculates its statewide minimum wage. According to ordinance, the adjustment calculation compares the Consumer Price Index for the first half of the previous year to the first half of the current year. The Consumer Price Index is designed to help workers keep up with the cost of living in their area.
This page is meant for educational and informational purposes. Nothing on this page alters any party’s rights, duties, or obligations to comply with any law. All parties are encouraged to thoroughly review the law ensure lawful compliance.
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AUDITOR TIMOTHY O'BRIEN, CPA
Denver Auditor's Office
201 W. Colfax Ave. #705 Denver, CO 80202
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