Our team offers many types of resources to support Denver’s businesses, including tools on our website, work site posters, pamphlets and educational materials, training opportunities, and one-on-one availability with our analysts.
We know underpayments are most commonly the result of honest mistakes, not intentional wrongdoing. As a result, we strive to prioritize education — and when we find businesses owe significant restitution, we work cooperatively to find solutions to help managers pay their employees while keeping their businesses going.
On our website, employers can find tools like a map of Denver where employers can see whether the citywide minimum wage applies to their employees, a restitution calculator spreadsheet, and prevailing wage rates for each job classification. When we conduct minimum wage investigations, we:
- Receive a complaint or begin a proactive enforcement investigation.
- Assess the complaint to ensure it meets initial investigation requirements.
- Contact the employer to request employee, payroll, and compliance documentation.
- Evaluate the complaint to consider all information provided by any complainant and the employer.
- Determine underpayment and fines, and inform both parties of any restitution that might be required.
- Resolve the complaint.
Once the employer provides evidence of a completed restitution payment, the case is closed. If no restitution was required, the case will be closed. When there is not sufficient evidence, the case is referred to another agency for investigation or to an outside firm for collection of restitution.
Under the minimum wage ordinance, employers are required to keep payroll documentation for three years for all past and current workers. The documentation should include the number of hours worked, the hourly wage paid to each worker, any deductions made from worker wages including taxes, and the net amount of wages each worker receives. Our office’s active enforcement approach to launching a minimum wage investigation can include on-site visits to speak with at-risk workers. Criteria that could trigger active enforcement include:
- Prior violations by a business owner.
- A pattern of noncompliance within an industry.
- Credible information from a state or federal agency.
- Data indicating an employer is likely violating the minimum wage law.
Employers may reduce their minimum wage obligation up to $3.02 per hour if they are in the food and beverage industry and their employees receive that amount in tips. Employers must keep documentation showing employees received at least that amount in tips to claim the full tip credit. Employers of unemancipated minors performing work as part of a certified youth employment program can pay those minors 15% less than the minimum wage.
Employers on prevailing wage projects in the City and County of Denver are required to submit their certified payrolls every two weeks in the LCPtracker system. Our analysts audit 100% of payrolls. Current wage determinations for all classifications are available on our website. We also offer tutorial videos and an LCPtracker setup form on our website to help contractors get started on each project.
We encourage any employer who is unsure about how to stay compliant with the law to let us know. Call or email our team, and our analysts are happy to help.