Denver Minimum Wage for Employers Outside of Denver

The Denver minimum wage of $12.85 an hour went into effect on January 1, 2020. While the Denver minimum wage clearly affects employers within the city limits, it could also have implications for employers outside of Denver when an employee performs work inside the city. The new minimum wage ordinance sets limits on who is covered.

Specifically, the Denver minimum wage does not apply to work that:

  • is not performed physically within the geographic boundaries of the city;
  • is performed by a worker totaling less than four hours in any given week for a particular employer within the geographic boundaries of the city; or
  • occurs in the city solely for the purpose of traveling through Denver from a point of origin outside of the city to a destination outside of Denver, with no employment-related or commercial stops in the city except for refueling or the worker’s personal meals or errands.

Therefore, it is the location where the work is performed rather than the location of the business that dictates when the Denver minimum wage applies. If more than four hours of work is performed in Denver in any week, those hours will need to be paid at a rate of $12.85 per hour, and the employer will need to maintain those payroll records for three years. Please call Employers Council if you have questions about how this affects your organization.