DENVER — The first day of 2024 in Colorado will usher in several new laws and an increase in the minimum wage.
Colorado’s minimum wage will be boosted to $14.42 per hour, an increase of $0.77. The minimum wage for tipped employees will increase to $11.44 per hour.
In Denver, minimum wage workers are getting a nearly 6% pay increase as the city’s minimum wage increases to $18.29 per hour beginning Monday.
Workers in Colorado will also be able to take more paid time off for family and medical reasons thanks to the state’s new Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program, which was approved by voters in 2020.
Beginning Monday, eligible employees will get up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave insurance benefits annually.
FAMLI also creates new job protections for employees who take paid family and medical leave for a serious illness in their family, the arrival of new children or recovery from sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment or stalking.
No more plastic bags
Beginning Monday, single-use plastic bags will be banned in Colorado. Retailers can only offer recyclable paper bags which will still be 10 cents each. Stores that already have stock of plastic bags already, can use those up before making the transition.
Any retail food establishment that still has Styrofoam containers can also use up what's in their stock, but after that, those containers will be banned too.
Businesses that don't comply can face up to $500 in fines for a second violation and up to $1,000 in fines for a third and subsequent violation.
HB23-1068 will go into effect on Monday, which gives more protections to renters with pets, including limiting the amount landlords can collect from the tenants.
The additional pet deposit will be capped at $300, which must be refundable. If a landlord chooses to charge pet rent monthly, it cannot exceed $35 a month, or 1.5% of the monthly rent, whichever is higher.
It's a relief for pet parents on a budget, but some landlords have told Denver7 it will likely create challenges for them and might have unintended consequences on housing availability if landlords decide to not allow pets at all, or include their personal preferences in the total cost of rent.
Colorado will become one of a dozen states banning so-called ghost guns. The new law prohibits firearms that are assembled at home or 3D-printed without serial numbers, practices that have allowed owners to evade background checks.
The use of ghost guns in crimes has risen 1,000% since 2017, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Unisex public restrooms
New buildings in Colorado wholly or partly owned by government entities will be required to have on every floor where there are public restrooms at least one that does not specify the gender of the users.
The Associated Press contributed to this report