How Enforcement Works

Citywide Minimum Wage: $12.85

During the 2019 legislative session, the Colorado legislature enacted a new statute permitting local governments to set a jurisdiction-wide minimum wage. In November 2019, the Denver City Council created Denver Revised Municipal Code Chapter 33.7-16, which sets the local minimum wage for Denver and prescribes the means for setting, enforcing, and complying with the new local minimum wage.

How Denver Labor works

Citywide Minimum Wage
  • Applies to all work performed on City of Denver property or using city dollars
  • Covers concessions, catering, maintenance, ramp and cargo, hospitality, security, miscellaneous services
  • Minimum increases annually on July 1
  • Complaints may not be anonymous
Contractor Minimum Wage
  • Applies to all work performed on City of Denver property or using city dollars
  • Covers concessions, catering, maintenance, ramp and cargo, hospitality, security, miscellaneous services
  • Minimum increases annually on July 1
  • Complaints may not be anonymous
Prevailing Wage
  • Applies to all work performed on City of Denver property or using city dollars
  • Covers contractors and subcontractors for construction, improvement, repair, maintenance, demolition, or janitorial work
  • See Prevailing Wage for updated wage rates
  • 100% of payrolls must be submitted and will be reviewed by our analysts
Living Wage
  • Applies to all contractors or subcontractors to the city
  • Covers parking lot attendants, security guards, or child care workers
  • See Denver Labor for updated wage rates
  • Denver Labor applies whichever applicable rates (minimum wage, prevailing wage, living wage) are highest

Receiving Complaints

HOW

Complaints can be made by

Email
Webform
Telephone
In person

 

  • All complaints must be made in writing
  • We will assist anyone making a complaint in completing the necessary forms.

WHO

Complaints can be made by

Employees
A third-party: family/friends, attorney, community resource, labor organization
Anonymous
  • However, we encourage any party making a complaint to share contact information. We make every effort to keep complainant’s information confidentiality.
  • Communication between the complainant and the investigator can dramatically assist an investigation.

WHAT

Complaints should include

Employer’s name

Location where the work was performed

A statement explaining the alleged violation

  • The investigator assigned to the complaint may contact a complainant for additional information or documentation.
  • Denver Labor will not ask and accept information related to a party’s citizenship or immigration status.
  • The more information the complainant can provide, the greater the likelihood of a successful investigation.

6 steps of an investigation

RECEIVE COMPLAINT

Denver Labor receives a complaint about a minimum wage violation.

ASSESS COMPLAINT

Complaint will be reviewed to ensure initial investigation requirements.

CONTACT EMPLOYER

Denver Labor contacts the employer to request employee, payroll and compliance documentation.

EVALUATE COMPLAINT

Denver Labor re-examine the complaint, considering all information provided by the complainant and employer.

DETERMINE UNDERPAYMENT AND FINES

If employer has underpaid complainant, Denver Labor informs both parties of amount and levies applicable fines on employer for violations.

RESOLVE COMPLAINT

Employer provides evidence of complete restitution. 

CASE CLOSED

Without evidence, the case is referred to another agency for investigation or to an outside firm for collection of restitution.

The complaint will be reviewed to ensure initial investigation requirements

Sufficient information was provided to permit an investigation

The work was performed after Jan. 1, 2020

The work was performed within the City and County of Denver

The minimum wage requirements were not met

Employer requirements

Denver law requires employers conducitng business in Denver to retain records demonstrating compliance with Denver’s minimum wage law. 

Sufficient payroll records for a period beginning Jan. 1, 2020 for at least three years.

Employers will not be asked for payroll records of work performed before Jan. 1, 2020.

No special format or recordkeeping system is required.

Records must be retained for current and past employees. 

Determine underpayment, violations and fines

COMPLAINT UNSUPPORTED

  • Investigator will inform both the complainant and the employer no underpayment or violation was found.
  • Case will be closed.
  • A determination does not bar any party from seeking alternative relief or prevent a party from resubmitting a complaint with additional information.
  • A party has 30 days from the notice of a determination to file a written appeal with the Auditor’s Office.

COMPLAINT SUPPORTED

  • Investigator will inform both the complainant and the employer of any restitution owed and the assessment of any applicable fines.
  • The employer can be fined for underpaying employees, failing to produce records, and providing false records.
  • Most of the fines are mandatory and cannot be waived by Denver Labor.
  • A party has 30 days from the notice of a determination to file a written appeal with the Auditor’s Office.

Payroll records must include

The number of hours worked by each worker

The hourly wage paid to each worker

Any deductions made from worker wages, including any taxes withheld

The net amount of wages received by each worker

Return to Citywide Minimum Wage pages