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New Minimum-Wage Rates Take Effect in Colorado

As most employers know, Colorado was among a dozen states and cities that raised their minimum wages on Jan. 1.

What some of our clients might not be aware of is that efforts already are under way in Congress and several state legislatures to push through increases next year.

This, of course, spurs fresh debate about whether such efforts help or hurt the sluggish economic recovery.

Opponents say minimum-wage increases hamper the economy by prompting firms to hire fewer workers, cut jobs or reduce workers’ hours.

Scott DeFife, an executive vice president at the National Restaurant Association, says “any additional labor cost can negatively impact a restaurant’s ability to hire or maintain jobs.”

The minimum wage increased in 10 states as well as San Francisco and Albuquerque, N.M., on Jan. 1. San Jose, Calif., is expected to raise its minimum wage in March. Ten of the increases are inflation-related triggers, while the others are because of legislation or ballot initiatives that passed this year.

Since 2009, the federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour. The new level for Colorado is $7.78. It had been $7.64.

About the Author


Larry Hannappel

Larry spent 16 years with Century Casino’s and was instrumental in the start-up and growth of the company through expansions in Canada, South Africa, the Czech Republic, Poland and on several cruise ships as well as in Colorado. He was most recently the SVP, Principal Finance Officer and COO of North American operations for Century Casinos Inc., a multinational, Nasdaq-traded gaming company. Earlier in his career, Larry worked at the Johns Manville Corp. Larry spent 13 years in various accounting and finance functions in the company’s fiberglass manufacturing division and was key in the start-up of a molding plant in Indiana. Larry and his wife Kathy and three children live in Colorado. He enjoys four-wheeling, motorcycling, golfing, skiing and brewing beer.

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