Prevailing Wage: FAQ
What Are the Prevailing Wage Ordinances?
The following files contain portions of the Denver Revised Municipal Code (DRMC) or ordinances pertaining to Prevailing Wage:
- Prevailing Wage Ordinance (PDF)
- Council Bill 469 Service Contracts Future Wage increases (PDF)
- 20-76 Payment of Prevailing Wages (PDF)
- 20-77 Debarment from City contracting (PDF)
- 20-80 Payment of Living Wages (PDF)
- Living Wage Ordinance (PDF)
- 20-90 E-Verify Ordinance (PDF)
- Denver’s Prompt Payment Rules (PDF)
Where Is The List of Who Is Owed Money?
The Auditor’s Prevailing Wage staff ensure that people working on City projects get paid fairly by investigating that City contractors meet the standards of the Prevailing and Living Wage ordinances. If you did work under a City contractor or on Denver-owned property, you might be owed back pay. View the list here.
How Can I Learn More About LCP Tracker?
Contractors working on Denver projects are expected to regularly report their payroll information to show compliance with prevailing wage. To do this, we use a system called LCP tracker. Use these tutorials to guide you through the process. View those tutorials here.
How Do I Get Started?
All the forms you could need for Prevailing Wage.
What Are Wage Determinations?
The Prevailing Wage section of the Auditor’s Office monitors and enforces compliance with Denver’s prevailing and living wage laws, ensuring that proper wages are paid and work performed is appropriately classified. The most current prevailing wage determinations are on the Prevailing Wage page. Historical prevailing wage determinations can be found in the Archives.
Citywide Minimum Wage: FAQ
When does Minimum Wage Apply?
The new minimum wage applies to all workers performing work after January 1, 2020 within the geographical boundaries of the City and County of Denver.
What is Denver’s Local Minimum Wage?
Denver’s local minimum wage is:
- $12.85 from January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020;
- $14.77 from January 1, 2021 – December 31, 2021;
- $15.87 from January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022; and
- Increase by the prior year’s increase in the regional consumer price index every year thereafter.
When May Employers Pay an Employee Less Than the Minimum Wage?
An employer can reduce the its minimum wage obligation for actual tips received by its employees up to $3.02 an hour (“tip credit”). During an investigation, an employer may be asked to produce evidence their employees received tips equal to or greater than the tip credit taken by the employer.
Employers of unemancipated minors performing work pursuant to a city certified youth employment program may pay those minors 15% less than the minimum wage.
Are There Any Exclusions?
Denver’s local minimum wage does not apply to:
- Work performed outside of Denver;
- Where an employee works less than 4 hours within Denver in a week; and
- Where the employee is only traveling through Denver while working.
What Minimum Wage Rate Applies?
The applicable minimum wage is the greater of the applicable prevailing wage, living wage, Denver contractor minimum wage as set in D.R.M.C. §20-84, the local minimum wage as set in D.R.M.C. §33.7-16 or other state or federal for the class of work being performed.
How Do Employers Comply with Denver’s Local Minimum Wage Requirements?
To be compliant, employers must pay their employees the appropriate wage and maintain payroll records for three years. There is no additional reporting requirement.
Who May Make a Complaint?
Complaints may be submitted by any person or entity. Complaints may be submitted anonymously. In addition, the Auditor’s Office may initiate an investigation based on an employer’s pattern of violations or credible government data.
How Are Minimum Wage Complaints Made?
Individuals who wish to make a complaint related to Denver’s minimum wage may e-mail the Denver Auditor’s Office at email@example.com or call 720-913-5039.
How Are Minimum Wage Complaints Investigated and Resolved?
The Denver Auditor’s Office will investigate all credible complaints submitted. Complaints may be resolved by referral to another agency or mode of remedy. Where the Auditor’s Office finds and investigates a credible compliant, the Auditor’s Office will inform the employer of its investigation and request documentation from the employer demonstrating compliance with minimum wage requirements. When the investigation is complete, an assigned investigator will seek restitution for any underpaid employee and possibly levy fines or inform the complainant and employer no evidence of underpayment was found. Employers must provide the Auditor’s Office evidence of any restitution payment made.
Employers may not take adverse action against an employee for their involvement in an investigation. Such retaliatory conduct is unlawful and subject to a $5,000 fine.
Are There Penalties for Failing to Comply with Denver’s Minimum Wage Requirements?
For an employer’s first violation, the Auditor may impose a fine of as much as $50 a day for each employee paid less than minimum wage unless the Auditor finds the error was made in good faith and corrected within 30 days.
For an employer’s second and third violations in a three-year period, the Auditor must impose a fine of $1,000 - $2,500 and $10-$75 a day for each employee paid less than minimum wage. For all violations after the third violation in a three-year period, the Auditor must impose a fine of $2,500 - $5,000 and $50-$100 a day for each employee paid less than minimum wage.
Where an employer fails to submit certified payroll records or submits false records in response to an investigatory request by the Auditor, the Auditor must fine the employer $1,000.