Prepare Now for 2024 Increases in State and Local Minimum Wages in Colorado

By Community Manager posted 08-17-2023 09:42 AM


The statewide minimum wage for Colorado — currently $13.65 — will increase on January 1, 2024, in line with the cost of living (COLA) to an amount not yet determined. The state is not alone in its upcoming minimum wage hike.  

During the 2019 legislative session, Colorado passed House Bill 19-1210, which allowed local governments to enact a minimum wage higher than that of the state. The Legislature did so because the cost of living can vary significantly from one community to another. The law enables local governments to address the minimum needs of the workers and businesses in their jurisdictions. 


The first local government to raise the minimum wage above the state level was the City and County of Denver. The Denver City Council passed an ordinance to increase the city’s minimum wage, and the measure was adopted on November 25, 2019. 

The increases started on January 1, 2020, with the rate surpassing $15 an hour in 2022. Since 2023, annual minimum wage increases in Denver are tied to the Consumer Price Index. In 2024 the Denver minimum wage will be $18.29. The minimum wage for tipped workers will be $15.27, provided they receive the statutory $3.02 in tips. 

The statute authorizing local minimum wages requires annual reporting by the state on the economics of the areas with and without local minimum wages. The report for 2023 showed positive economic impact for Denver after passing the minimum wage increase. Perhaps because of this, other local governments have begun to implement their own local minimum wages.  


On May 2, 2023, the City of Edgewater passed Ordinance No. 2023-07, enacting a local minimum wage, effective January 1, 2024, setting annual rates as follows:  

$15.02 on January 1, 2024 

• $16.52 on January 1, 2025 

• $18.17 on January 1, 2026 

• $19.99 on January 1, 2027 

• $21.99 on January 1, 2028 

Starting in 2029, adjusted annually either by Edgewater’s prior year’s minimum wage adjusted for inflation or to match the city of Denver’s minimum wage (whichever is greater).  

As provided by statute, Edgewater’s minimum wage (A) allows a tip credit of $3.02 toward the local minimum wage for “food and beverage worker[s]” (the amount of the tip credit provided in the Colorado Constitution), and (B) does not apply to work performed outside, or work of less than four hours within, the geographic boundaries of the local government. 

Along with requiring payment of the minimum wage, the Edgewater Ordinance sets requirements for posting the minimum wage and information about complaint filing, and for maintaining payroll records. 

For both Denver and Edgewater, the location where the work is performed, not the location of the business, dictates when the minimum wage applies. If more than four hours of work is performed in the local area in any week, those hours will need to be paid at local minimum wage rates. 


Boulder County Commissioners will introduce a new hourly minimum wage in unincorporated Boulder County, which, if given final approval, will see the county’s local minimum wage rise to 15% above Colorado’s 2023 minimum wage on January 1, 2024. The move would bring the unincorporated area’s minimum wage to $15.70/hour. The County Commissioners will hold a town hall in Niwot on October 12, 2023, and a public hearing in Boulder on November 2, 2023. 

The 10% Rule 

Based on Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA) data, as of the 2023 report there are 334 local governments within the meaning of the local minimum wage act. Up to 33 local governments (10% of 334) are permitted by HB 19-1210 to have a local minimum wage. As more localities enact minimum wages, they will be reported to the state. The state Legislature would need to amend the law before more than 10% of the state’s local governments could implement local minimum wages. 

Please check with your local governments to learn more about any possible minimum wage increases. Employers Council will keep you informed as we discover them. Contact us if you have any questions.