Colorado Lowers Minimum Wage and Updates Labor Law Posters

Colorado has the distinction of being the first state to decrease its minimum wage since the federal minimum wage was adopted in 1938.  This decrease affects the state labor law poster.

It is one of 10 states that adjusts the minimum wage annually based on inflation.   However, Colorado is the only one of these states that allows wage declines.  

According to the Colorado Constitution, the Colorado minimum wage is adjusted annually for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index used for Colorado.  This index decreased by 0.6 percent from the first half of 2008 to the first half of 2009.  

As of Jan. 1, Colorado’s wage fell 4 cents, from $7.28 to $7.24 per hour, but the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour takes precedence since it is higher.   

The other states that adjust every January 1 – but whose minimum wage rates remain the same this year since they cannot decrease – include Arizona, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.  (Nevada has an annual adjustment every July 1.)

The annual adjustment for Colorado, and five of the other 10 states with annual adjustments, went into effect with the passage of a state ballot measure in November 2006. 

Colorado’s minimum wage rate has steadily increased since then – until this year:  to $6.85 per hour on Jan. 1, 2007; to $7.02 per hour on Jan. 1, 2008 and to $7.28 per hour on Jan. 1, 2009. 

Colorado has issued a revised minimum wage poster (Minimum Wage Order Number 26) as well as updating its Unemployment Insurance poster and adding a new Notice of Paydays poster. 

If you need to update your Colorado labor law poster or you would like to order a 1-Year Compliance Protection Plan for worry-free compliance, go to the Poster Compliance Center website at or call 1-800-322-3636.