Will Denver Raise City Employee Minimum Wage?

In an announcement that could affect close to two thousand city workers and contractors in Denver, CO, a proposal by city officials could raise the minimum wage to $13 an hour starting this summer (2019). The State of Colorado’s minimum wage is set at $11.10 an hour and that is what these city employees and contractors, most of whom work for the parks department, make currently.

Various studies and reports, one notably out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, peg the “living wage” in Denver to be $14 an hour, far above the Colorado minimum wage of $11.10 an hour. That’s still above the $13 an hour proposed to start this summer, but the wage will continue with annual raises through 2021.

Mayor Michael Hancock said “wage stagnation is one of the most fundamental equity issues” that faces workers in Denver and all over the United States. In order to keep the city’s pay scales in their current proportions, city workers that are earning higher wages already will also get raises. All in all this change could cost the city close to $6 million over the next few years. The city council is set to vote on the proposal in April.

Colorado’s Minimum Wage Order 35 Poster was updated January 1, 2019 with the new $11.10 at the top and the last two years of minimum wages ($10.20 in 2018 and $9.30 in 2017) printed under it to avoid any confusion on past wages. Issued by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment’s Division of Labor Standards and Statistics the poster cover tipped worker wages also ($8.08 per hour effective January 1, 2019), rest period, overtime, and workday regulations. Where the wearing of a particular uniform is a condition of employment, the cost of purchases, maintenance, and cleaning of the uniform shall be paid by the employer.

This must be posted in an area frequented by employees where it may be easily read.