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Details of Equal Pay for Equal Work Act Head to Rulemaking Hearing

On Jan. 1, 2021, Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act will go into effect, impacting every employer in the state. A rulemaking hearing is scheduled for early November regarding implementation of this law and providing additional specifics for employers. While we have heard from a number of our employers regarding this law, we want to invite all of you to share any concerns or issues that we should seek to clarify during the hearing process.

Below is a summary of the law:

The law aims to increase pay transparency as a strategy for closing the gender pay gap. It imposes significant new notice and recordkeeping requirements and encourages companies to regularly self-audit their compensation practices.

Employers will no longer be able to ask the salary history of a prospective employee or rely on their wage history for determining the employee’s pay. Only in limited circumstances can an employer justify pay differentials based on gender, such as:

  • A seniority system
  • A merit system
  • A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production
  • The geographic location where the work is performed
  • Education, training or experience to the extent that they are reasonably related to the work
  • Travel, if the travel is a regular and necessary condition of the work performed

The law also includes requirements pertaining to how employers must post jobs and maintain records, including employers with employees outside Colorado. Employers are required to post all job openings and promotions within the company and disclose the hourly or salary compensation and benefits associated with the position.

While the law passed in the 2019 legislative session, the details are currently being hammered out in a rulemaking process in the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics, which is part of the state’s Department of Labor and Employment. A public hearing is set for Monday, Nov. 2 at 9 a.m. Learn more about the hearing and read a copy of the proposed rules and instructions for submitting your own comments.

As mentioned above, we’ve heard from several members who are concerned about potential unintended consequences of various details that will be considered in the rulemaking, including job-posting requirements. We are working with legal counsel and concerned members to capture feedback to submit in the hearing. Please reach out to us directly if you have concerns that you would like to have represented in the rulemaking process by emailing Dorothy Jones at Dorothy.Jones@denverchamber.org.

To learn more about the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, you can view our all-member webinar or review this overview document from Employers Council.