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Are You Ready for Big Wage Changes in 2020?

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By Reanna Werner, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP |  Co-Founder, HR Branches

"On January 1, 2020, we are going to wake up to two significant wage changes that will impact most Colorado small businesses."

On January 1, 2020, we are going to wake up to two significant wage changes that will impact most Colorado small businesses. Are you prepared for these changes?

What’s Changing?


  • Hourly Employees:  Colorado Minimum Wage- Colorado minimum wage has been on an increased schedule of $.90 per year for the past 2 years. In January 2020, you will see the third and final $.90 minimum wage increase. Effective January 1, 2020, Colorado Minimum Wage will be:
    • Colorado Minimum Wage- $12.00/ hr
    • Colorado Tipped Employees- $8.98/ hr

*Denver increased its local minimum wage to $12.85 per hour effective Jan. 1, becoming the first local government in Colorado to set its minimum higher than the statewide level per a new statute passed by the legislature in 2019.

  • Salaried Employees: Minimum Salary Rate (Federal Overtime Rule)- The minimum annual salary for exempt (salaried) employees is going to increase in 2020. Effective January 1, 2020, the Federal minimum salary rate will be:

    • $684 per week (or $35,568 per year)
    • $107,432 for highly compensated employees 

*Don’t forget that in addition to the minimum salary level, you must meet the duties requirements. 

What To Do?

  • Review all employee wages. The easiest method is to pull a basic wage report out of your payroll system (if you have one). Review how they are paid (hourly, salaried or tipped), what they are paid and determine whether any changes need to be made. 

  • Increase all minimum wage worker’s pay to Colorado’s required minimum wage, if necessary.

  • Increase salaried employees’ wages or change wages to an hourly rate that meets FLSA requirements, if necessary.

  • Communicate with your employees about any changes they may see on their paycheck and why. 

  • Update Colorado Minimum Wage employment poster.  The poster should become available on the CO DOL website on January 1, 2020: 

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