A law equal pay law in Colorado is costing residents remote work opportunities

A new equal pay law in Colorado -- and the additional bureaucracy -- is costing the state’s residents remote work opportunities.


June 29, 2021

Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act — a set of laws aimed at ending wage discrimination, especially for women and minorities —  went into effect earlier this year.

But instead of adhering to the legislation, some companies have decided to exclude Colorado-based remote employees in job listings.

Why?

The act specifies that employers hiring in Colorado must include an expected salary range and benefits in job posts. Some reports claim that companies don’t want to reveal their cards.

But according to the fine print, employers:

  • Don’t need to end up paying inside that range, as long as they genuinely feel the range listed was their true expected budget.
  • Can still pay different wages for similar work, if they can prove it’s based on seniority, merit, productivity, or training/education.
  • Can’t force a prospective employee to disclose their past wages.

While this may not merit a statewide hiring blackout…

… there’s a 2nd part to the law. It focuses on corporate advancement and requires any company with a single Colorado employee to:

  • Alert all employees of all opportunities for promotion or employment on the same calendar day, or risk facing litigation.
  • Pay a fine of $500-$10k for each opportunity or job posting they fail to share properly.

Even if these rules are a good idea, they demand new systems and processes for any business hiring in Colorado. Many are balking, so it’s looking like a “cobra effect” law: when a well-intentioned rule backfires.

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