Tipped Employees

Advisory Bulletins

According to the Colorado Minimum Wage Order Number 35, effective January 1, 2019, a tipped employee is any employee engaged in an occupation in which he or she customarily and regularly receives more than $30.00 per month in tips. Tips include amounts designated by credit card customers on their charge slips.

Tip Credits and Minimum Wage

Under Wage Order 35, employers of tipped employees must pay a cash wage of at least $8.08 per hour if they claim a tip credit against their minimum hourly wage obligation.

If an employee's tips combined with the employer's cash wage of at least $8.08 per hour do not equal the minimum hourly wage of $11.10 per hour, the employer must make up the difference in cash wages. It is the policy of the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics that this rule applies on a weekly basis. The employee's tips combined with the employer's $8.08 cash wage must equal the minimum hourly wage when computed over a seven-day workweek in order for the employer to avoid making up any difference.

Employer Ownership of Gratuities (Tips)/Tip Pooling Among Employees

Colorado wage law (C.R.S. 8-4-103(6), updated Aug. 2, 2019) prohibits an employer from a claim to, right of ownership in, or control over an employee’s gratuities (tips). However, employers may require employees to share or allocate gratuities on a pre-established basis with other employees so long as the employer notifies each patron in writing. Such written notification includes notice on a menu, a table tent or receipt.

Under the Wage Order, if the employer requires tipped employees to share their tips with other employees who do not customarily and regularly receive tips (such as management or food preparers), the tip credit towards minimum wage is nullified.

Tip Credit Card Processing Fees

Under the Wage Order, employer-required deduction of credit card processing fees from tipped employees nullifies the allowable tip credits towards the minimum wage.


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Colorado Division of Labor Standards and Statistics | 303-318-8441 | Contact Us