Colorado Minimum Wage for 2016, 2017
Colorado's state minimum wage rate is $9.30 per hour. This is greater than the Federal Minimum Wage of $7.25. You are entitled to be paid the higher state minimum wage. The minimum wage applies to most employees in Colorado, with limited exceptions including tipped employees, some student workers, and other exempt occupations.†
The Colorado minimum wage was last changed in 2008, when it was raised $2.28 from $7.02 to $9.30. Colorado's minimum wage rate is linked to a Consumer Price Index, which is intended to raise the rate along with inflation. The current minimum wage rate is re-evaluated yearly based on these values.
The Colorado minimum wage is applicable to all adults and emancipated minors, and is raised or lowered annually based on inflation. Minors under the age of 18 may be paid up to 15% less then the current Colorado minimum wage.
Colorado's minimum wage was raised to from $8.00 to $8.23 per hour on January 1 2014, and will to $8.31 per hour on January 1, 2016. The tipped minimum wage was also raised to $5.29 on the same date.
The Colorado minimum wage is tied the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), and can both rise and fall based on the current inflation numbers. If the Colorado minimum wage happens to be lower then the Federal Minimum Wage, the Federal Minimum Wage will take precedence.
For further information about Colorado's minimum wage, tipped wage policy, overtime wage, and more, click here.
Colorado employers may not pay you under $9.30 per hour unless you or your occupation are specifically exempt from the minimum wage under state or federal law.
If you have questions about the Colorado minimum wage, please ask us and someone will respond to you as soon as possible. Looking for a new job? Use the free Colorado job search utility to find local job openings hiring now.
All Colorado employers must display an approved Colorado minimum wage poster in a prominent place to inform employees about the minimum wage and their worker's rights under Colorado labor law.
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Colorado Minimum Wage & Labor Law Posters
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Colorado labor law requires all employers in Colorado to visibly display an approved Colorado minimum wage poster, and other Colorado and federal labor law posters, to ensure that all employees are aware of federal and Colorado labor law and overtime regulations. Failure to display a Colorado labor law poster in the workplace can result in severe fines.
The Colorado minimum wage poster, and additional required Colorado labor law posters, are also available on the Colorado labor law posters download page.
Colorado Overtime Minimum Wage
All workers who put in over 40 weekly hours are entitled to a minimum wage of at least 1.5 times the regular applicable minimum wage (learn more about Colorado overtime pay). Some states require workers who work over a certain number of daily hours to be eligible for this overtime rate as well (Colorado law does specify a daily overtime limit).
The FLSA guarantees all CO employees adequate overtime compensation for all qualifying overtime hours worked. If your employer does not pay adequate overtime wages, you can file an unpaid overtime claim with the Colorado Department of Labor.
Colorado Minimum Wage Exemptions
In addition to any Colorado-specific minimum wage exemptions described above, the Federal Fair Labor Standards act defines special minimum wage rates applicable to certain types of workers. You may be paid under the Colorado minimum wage if you fit into one of the following categories:
- Colorado Under 20 Minimum Wage - $4.25 - Federal law allows any employer in Colorado to pay a new employee who is under 20 years of age a training wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 days of employment.
- Colorado Tipped Minimum Wage - See Here - Employees who earn a certain amount of tips every month may be paid a lower cash minimum wage, but must earn at least $9.30 including tips every hour. For more details, read about the Colorado tipped minimum wage.
Frequently Asked Questions - Colorado Minimum Wage & Labor Law
- What is the Colorado minimum wage?
The current Colorado minimum wage of $9.30 per hour is the lowest amount a non-exempt employee in Colorado can legally be paid for hourly work. Special minimum wage rates, such as the "Colorado waitress minimum wage" for tipped employees, may apply to certain workers.
- How much will I earn working a minimum wage jobin Colorado?
A full time minimum wage worker in Colorado working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, will earn $74.40 per day, $372.00 per week, and $19,344.00 per year1. The national poverty line for a family unit consisting of two people is $16,020.00 per year.
- What is the Colorado under 18 minimum wage?
Colorado employers may pay 18 year olds and minors the youth minimum wage of $4.25 for the first 90 days of employment. Other labor law exemptions for minors in Colorado may exist.
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1 These earnings estimates do not account for the Colorado income tax , federal income tax, or local/municipal income taxes.
2 Poverty line for a family of two in the lower 48 published 2016 by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services