Citywide Minimum Wage Bill Passes; Changes to Go Into Effect January 1, 2020

November 26, 2019

Last night, November 25th, Denver City Council voted unanimously in favor of Denver’s first-ever citywide minimum wage bill. The proposal, which follows state legislation passed in 2019 that authorized local governments to set a citywide minimum wage greater than the state constitutional wage, was brought forth by Mayor Michael B. Hancock and Councilwoman Robin Kniech.

Beginning on January 1, 2020, the City and County of Denver’s minimum wage will increase annually on the following schedule:

  • $12.85 an hour on Jan. 1, 2020;
  • $14.77 an hour on Jan. 1, 2021;
  • $15.87 an hour on Jan. 1, 2022; and
  • Annual adjustments based on the Consumer Price Index each year thereafter.

Employers can pay unemancipated minors 15% less than the minimum wage for work pursuant to a youth employment program. Food and beverage employees who receive tips may be paid up to $3.02 (“tip credit”) less to offset Denver minimum wage.

This year, Denver set a higher minimum wage for city employees and contractors. During this year’s legislative session, through HB19-1210, the Colorado General Assembly authorized local governments to set a citywide minimum wage greater than the state constitutional wage, currently $11.10 an hour and scheduled to go to $12 on Jan. 1.To learn more about the bill, visit

This bill is predicted to confront wage inequality and cost of living affordability for 90,000 Denver workers.

The latest iteration of the Denver minimum wage bill is a result of hundreds of meetings with stakeholders – including Downtown Denver Partnership Members – by the City. Downtown Denver Partnership Members have been deeply engaged in providing robust feedback, testimony, and discussion to help inform this proposal.

“The Downtown Denver Partnership commends the Mayor’s Office and Denver City Council for their commitment to community and stakeholder engagement,” said Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, “We know that affordability is a key issue facing our city and we look forward to continuing to work closely with our public- and private-sector partners to find innovative ways to address those challenges.”

The Downtown Denver Partnership works collaboratively with our partners, including the City and County of Denver, to advocate for policies that facilitate establishing Downtown Denver as an economically healthy, growing, and vibrant downtown. The Partnership will provide updates on this policy and will continue to work closely with the City to provide feedback on behalf of Partnership Members.