With just a few short weeks left of 2019, make sure you're prepared for three compliance changes coming January 1, 2020.
1.) The minimum wage is going up. The state wage is rising to $12, which means the tipped minimum wage will increase to $8.98. In the city of Denver, minimum wage rises to $12.85 an hour on January 1, 2020 -- and the tipped wage rises to $9.83 an hour. We're working on a tip credit fix at the state legislature to alleviate the effects of local minimum wage changes, but Denver restaurateurs should be prepared to comply with this law at the first of the year. Read more here.
2.) Federal changes to overtime go into effect. Beginning January 1, 2020, employees must be paid a salary of AT LEAST $684 per week (which equates to $35,568 annually) to be EXEMPT from overtime. This is up from $455 per week (or $23,660 annually) in 2019. Importantly, tips DO NOT count -- and hourly workers are never exempt from overtime. Read more about this change here.
3.) Wage theft becomes a felony. Beginning January 1, 2020, Colorado employers that refuse to pay a wage claim, falsely deny a wage claim with the intent not to pay, or underpay a wage claim to harass or defraud the person owed the wage will be liable for theft, which constitutes a felony if the amount of the unpaid wages exceeds $2,000. The fine for theft ranges from $50 to $1 million, depending on the circumstances. This is a change from current law, under which failure or refusal to pay a wage claim constitutes a misdemeanor. Additionally, intentionally paying a wage less than the minimum wage is defined as theft, which is a felony when amount owed exceeds $2,000.
If you have questions about any of these changes, call our office at 303-830-2972.
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