To all employers that utilize the services of minimum wage employees, take note that the new Colorado Minimum Wage increased to $7.36 per hour effective January 1, 2011 -- an increase of $0.12 from the last change to Colorado’s Minimum Wage and, most importantly, $0.11 more than the Federal Minimum Wage ($7.25).
This increase also marks a change in which law -- the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or Colorado’s Minimum Wage Order 27 -- must be observed by Colorado employers.Although both the Federal FLSA and Colorado law apply to protect employees, it is the law that imposes a higher minimum wage standard that must be observed.Thus, Colorado employers must ensure all non-exempt, hourly employees are making at least $7.36 per hour as of the start of 2011.
This change also applies to tipped employees.The Federal Tipped Minimum Wage is currently $2.13 per hour, which is lower than the Colorado Tipped Minimum Wage of $4.34 per hour. Therefore, employers in Colorado must pay their tipped employees a base hourly wage of $4.34 per hour.
Caveat: If your employee’s tips combined with the base minimum wage of $4.34 per hour do not equal the new minimum wage of $7.36, you must make up the difference.