There’s A New Minimum Wage in Colorado, But is it Really Enough?
At the beginning of this year, a new minimum wage went into effect for the state of Colorado. Do you know what it is?
According to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, effective January 1, 2022, the state's minimum wage increased by 24 cents.
What is the Minimum Wage in Colorado?
As of the beginning of 2022, the new minimum wage in Colorado is $12.56 an hour. For tipped employees in the state of Colorado, the new minimum wage is now $9.54. No more than $3.02 per hour in tip income may be used to offset the minimum wage of tipped employees.
Denver, Colorado Minimum Wage Rates
In Denver, Council Bill 19-1237 set the city's minimum wage at $15.87 an hour, which is $3.31 more than the state's minimum wage.
Mayor Hancock and Councilwoman Kniech’s ordinance moved the city's minimum wage up in 3 increments:
- $12.85 an hour on Jan. 1, 2020
- $14.77 an hour on Jan. 1, 2021
- $15.87 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022
Each year following, the city of Denver will re-evaluate the minimum wage and make the appropriate adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index.
How Has the Minumum Wage Changed in Colorado?
In 2021, the minimum wage in Colorado was $12.32 an hour, and for tipped employees, it was $9.30.
The people of the state of Colorado enacted Amendment 70, effective January 1, 2017, to raise the minimum wage to $9.30 per hour with an annual increase of 90 cents each January until it reached $12 an hour in January of 2020.
From there the amendment states that the minimum hourly wage for Colorado should be adjusted annually for cost of living increases, "as measured by the Consumer Price Index used for Colorado."
Does Minimum Wage Mean Livable Wage?
Contrary to popular belief, the minimum wage should ALWAYS be a livable wage.
On June 16, 1933, Roosevelt made the following statement when speaking on the National Industrial Recovery Act:
It seems to me to be equally plain that no business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in this country. By "business" I mean the whole of commerce as well as the whole of industry; by workers I mean all workers, the white collar class as well as the men in overalls; and by living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level-I mean the wages of decent living.
Throughout industry, the change from starvation wages and starvation employment to living wages and sustained employment can, in large part, be made by an industrial covenant to which all employers shall subscribe.
By 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt had signed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which established a minimum wage in the United States. The FLSA sought to give a "minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency, and the general well-being of workers. "