In 2019, Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (EPEWA) passed the Senate in a 20-14 vote. The new rules went into effect on January 1, 2021.
Women make 15 percent less than their male counterparts in Colorado, according to KOAA/U.S. Census Bureau. And the bill helps fix that via job posting changes:
“The bill looks to address the wage gap by adding requirements for employers to include the pay range in job postings and would allow employees to take employers to court over pay inequality.”
Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act Requirements
The official SB19 085 bill, also known as the Colorado Equal Pay law:
“removes the authority of the director of the division of labor standards and statistics in the department of labor and employment (director) to enforce wage discrimination complaints based on an employee’s sex and instead authorizes the director to create and administer a process to accept and mediate complaints of, and provide legal resources concerning, alleged violations and to promulgate rules for this purpose. An aggrieved person may bring a civil action in district court to pursue remedies specified in the act.”
Global company Mercer reported on the changes in June 2019:
“The law aims to increase pay equity and transparency, imposes new notice and record keeping requirements, and encourages companies to regularly self-audit their compensation practices.”
Here are a few highlights and requirements from Colorado’s Equal Pay Equal Work Act:
- the act offers protection for employees against sex-based pay discrimination for work that requires similar tasks or responsibilities
- the law prohibits employers from asking about wage history or relying on wage history to determine pay rates
- employers are required to “announce, post, or make known all opportunities for promotion” to all current employees on the same calendar day
- job postings must disclose hourly wage or salary range and a general description of all benefits and other compensation available
- employers must keep records of job descriptions and wage history for each employee while employed and for 2 years after termination
According to Mercer, companies who do not comply with the Colorado Equal Pay Law could face civil fines of US $500 to $10,000 per violation of the job-posting or recordkeeping requirements. Employees can report any violations to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment within 1 year of learning about the violation.
7 Examples of Colorado Equal Pay Act Job Posting Language
We found 7 companies that were early to add Colorado Equal Pay Act language to their job postings. The main new things employers include in their Colorado job postings are:
- Putting the actual pay range (hourly rate or salary) (all companies)
- Explaining how the pay range is calculated (HCA, Aegon, Perspecta, National Renewable)
- Including monetary and training bonus information (7-Eleven, CSAA Insurance Group, Perspecta)
- Adding a line about the pay range possibly moving within Rule 4.1.2 (Aegon, Perspecta)
- Explaining that most offers start at the bottom of the pay range (HCA, National Renewable)
- Clarifying that the employer will not ask for salary history (National Renewable)
- Acknowledging the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (most companies)
Here’s the exact equal pay for equal work act language each of the 7 companies used in their job postings:
Commercial Forms Analyst:
Vice President of Cardiovascular Services:
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative:
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Annual Salary Range: $73,900 – $133,100
Offers will typically be made in the bottom half of the listed range. NREL takes into consideration a candidate’s education, training, and experience, as well as the position’s work location, expected quality and quantity of work, required travel (if any), external market and internal value, including seniority and merit systems, and internal pay alignment when determining the salary level for potential new employees. In compliance with the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, a potential new employee’s salary history will not be used in compensation decisions.
Agile Systems Specialist:
The Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act requires employers in the state of Colorado to disclose the following information. If the position applied to is not located in Colorado, the following information may not apply. Salary Minimum: $85,571.20 Salary Maximum:$182,956.80 The base salary range above represents the low and high end of the Perspecta salary range for this position. Actual salaries will vary and may be above or below the range based on various factors including but not limited to location, experience, and performance. The range listed is just one component of Perspecta’s total compensation package for employees. Other rewards may include annual bonuses, short- and long-term incentives, and program-specific awards. In addition, Perspecta provides a variety of benefits to employees, including health insurance coverage, an employee wellness program, life and disability insurance, a retirement savings plan, paid holidays and paid time off (PTO).
Placement of Equal Pay for Equal Act Language in Job Postings
The companies listed above mention the EPEWA in different sections of their job postings. Here is a breakdown:
- At the Start of Job Posting (HCA, National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
- In the Middle of Job Posting (7-Eleven, Perspecta)
- At the End of Job Posting (Aegon, CSAA Insurance Group, IQVIA)
What counts is that you have the Colorado pay-related language in there.
Why I Wrote This
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- Colorado Senate passes Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (by Benjamin Lloyd)
- Colorado Clarifies and Adopts Equal Pay Transparency Rules (by Steve Suflas, Jessica Federico and Anu Thomas)
- SB19 085 Equal Pay For Equal Work Act (by the Colorado General Assembly)
- Colorado’s new pay equity law takes effect in 2021 (by Mercer Law)
- Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (1/1/21) (by SHRM)