This past November voters passed Amendment 70 to increase to Colorado’s minimum wage. Effective January 1, 2017, employers must pay the new minimum wage of $9.30 per hour to any of its employees who are paid minimum wage. Although the federal minimum wage is lower than the state minimum wage, the Fair Labor Standards Act specifically states that if a state has a different minimum wage than federal law, the employer must pay the higher wage. Unlike prior years where minimum wage was adjusted annually for inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index used for Colorado, now the state’s minimum wage will increase 90 cents each year until the wage reaches $12.00 per hour in the year 2020. Employers should plan ahead and be prepared to make the necessary adjustment to their employees’ hourly wages starting January 1st.

If you have questions about how this change in law impacts your business, contact Michelle B. Ferguson at 303-628-3658 or

Michelle B. Ferguson leads Ireland Stapleton’s Employment Law Practice. She can be reached at 303.628.3658 or

What is written here is intended as general information, and is not to be construed as legal advice. If legal advice is needed, you should consult an attorney.