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Denver’s minimum wage rate increases on Friday to $14.77 per hour

Downtown Denver
Posted at 7:22 AM, Jan 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-05 19:07:43-05

DENVER — Minimum wage is now $14.77 per hour in the City and County of Denver.

This went into effect on Friday, Jan. 1.

The increase is expected to result in a pay raise for thousands of workers in Denver, and many are front line employees who haven't been able to work from home during the pandemic.

Denver Auditor Timothy M. O’Brien, CPA, said this is a challenging time for businesses.

"I want to work with them to find ways to keep their employees paid according to the law,” he said. “My goal isn’t to penalize employers who make honest mistakes but instead to raise awareness and keep the city’s workers paid during this time of economic hardship.”

Denver Labor Executive Director Jeffrey Garcia said this isn't an easy change for businesses, but every dollar matters to the employees and their families.

The minimum wage increase was adopted by Denver City Council in November 2019. It increased the minimum wage from $12.85 to $14.77 on Jan. 1, 2021, and then will increase again to $15 on July 1, 2021, and to $15.87 in 2022. After that, it will be adjusted based on inflation.

Denver minimum wage increase timetable

The citywide minimum wage first took effect in early 2020. In early December 2020, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and Denver Councilwoman Robin Kniech announced that they did not plan to ask Denver City Council to consider changing the scheduled Jan. 1, 2021 increase. It was a move that Colorado Restaurant Association CEO Sonia Riggs said was extremely disappointing as restaurants continue to struggle to make ends meet.

If employers or workers are unsure whether the citywide minimum wage applies to them, they can check their work address using the Denver auditor's online map.

On Jan. 1, 2021 minimum wage also increased statewide in Colorado to $12.32, or $9.30 for tipped employees.