Colorado Minimum Wage to Fall Next Year

According to Nation’s Restaurant News, “Colorado restaurateurs and other employers may reduce the pay of non-tipped minimum-wage employees by three pennies an hour and pay tipped workers four cents less beginning Jan. 1, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.”

“The wage reduction is based on a state constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2006 that calls for the minimum wage to be adjusted annually based on changes in the cost of living. Until now, inflation has pushed Colorado’s pay floor higher, but that is about to change. Colorado’s pending wage decrease is believed to be the first among the 10 states that have mechanisms to adjust minimum-wage rates annually based on inflation indexes. The other states with such mechanisms are Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington. According to a recent Colorado Department of Labor and Employment notice, beginning Jan. 1, the state’s minimum wage will decrease from $7.28 an hour to $7.24 for non-tipped employees and from $4.26 an hour to $4.22 for workers receiving gratuities. While most employers will have to at least meet the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour for non-tipped workers, they may take the full four-cent reduction for employees who receive gratuities because the federal pay floor for individuals who receive tips, $2.13 an hour, is lower than Colorado’s rate.The Colorado reduction is based on a 0.6-pecent reduction in the Denver-Boulder-Greeley Consumer Price Index between the first half of 2008 and the first half of 2009.”