Denver Staffing Agencies Subject to Colorado Minimum Wage Increase in 2013

  • Posted by: J. Kent Gervasini |
  • 12/13/12 |
  • 9:20 PM
Denver Staffing Agencies Subject to Colorado Minimum Wage Increase in 2013

Colorado Constitution Requires Annual Minimum Wage Adjustment for Inflation
Article XVIII, Section 15 of the Colorado Constitution requires the Colorado minimum wage to be adjusted annually for inflation. The state minimum wage is tied to the Consumer Price Index for the Denver-Boulder-Greeley region. The pending increase is directed by a 2006 constitutional amendment that provides annual cost-of-living adjustments to the minimum wage. This will affect many Denver jobs in a variety of industries and sectors to include Denver staffing agencies and Denver temporary agencies providing professional, administrative, and labor staff.

14 Cent (1.8%) Per Hour Increase Effective January 1, 2013
Mimimum wage will increase to $7.78 per hour, a 14 cent or 1.8% increase over the year 2012. The mimimum wage for "tipped workers" (employees who regularly receive tips) will increase to $4.76 from $4.62 per hour.
State of Colorado Minimum Wage – 6 Year History
Effective Date Minimum Wage
Per Hour
January 1, 2013 $7.78
January 1 - December 31, 2012 $7.64
January 1 - December 31, 2011 $7.36
January 1 - December 31, 2010 ($7.24)
January 1 - December 31, 2009 $7.28
January 1 - December 31, 2008 $7.02
January 1 - December 31, 2007 $6.85

Colorado State Minimum Wage vs. Federal Minimum Wage
If an employee is covered by federal and Colorado state minimum wage laws, then the employer must pay the higher minimum wage. Therefore, even though the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour, Colorado employers will be required to pay $7.78 per hour for their employees beginning January 1, 2013. Fortunately, for our minimum wage workers, the State of Colorado provides greater employee protections than federal law for minimum age workers.

What is the Minimum Wage Worker's W2?
If you were a minimum wage, hourly worker who worked 40 hours per week  (2,080 hours in a year) in Colorado, your annual income would be $16,182.40. ($7.78 per hour x 2,080 work hours per year = $16,182.40)

On the other hand, if you lived in one of the states in our union that did not have a minimum wage above the current federal level of $7.25 per hour, then your annual income would be $15,080. Can one live on either of these annual salaries? Note: Only 18 states and the District of Columbia have minimum wage rates above the federal level of $7.25 per hour.  

The Federal Minimum Wage

  • Provisions are contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
  • The minimum wage does not increase automatically. Congress must pass a bill which the President signs into law in order for the minimum wage to go up.
  • The rate of $7.25 per hour has been in effect since July 24, 2009

The Federal Minimum Wage – A Political Hot Button for Congress
It has been interesting to review the State of Colorado’s minimum wage history, which of course makes one think about the federal minimum wage rate as well. Neither minimum wage is able to provide a sustainable and respectful standard of living for just the day-to-day life basics such as housing, food, childcare. It’s a complex issue—a political hot button, an unfortunate reality for many living the American dream, and not one to be resolved in this reporting. But it does make one think!

The information in the article above is intended for general education purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional, legal, and/or accounting advice.
Source: Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, United States Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division
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