Colorado: Expansive New Equal Pay Bill Introduces New Restrictions in Salary Inquiries and Job Postings


All Employers with CO Employees


January 1, 2021*


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(888) 378-2456

On May 22, 2019, the Colorado governor signed the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (Senate Bill 19-085) (the Act) into law.  The Act introduces a number of new regulations that employers must take heed of, and is set to go into effect on January 1, 2021, barring a petition and vote otherwise.

Equal pay for substantially similar work. Colorado employers must provide equal pay to employees of different sexes who perform substantially similar work, regardless of job title.  Substantially similar work may be measured by a combination of skill, effort, and responsibility.  Pay differentials, if any, must be substantiated in their entirety based on specific criteria, such as a seniority system, merit system, system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, geographic location of work being performed, education, training or experience reasonably related to work, or travel that is a regular and necessary condition of work performed.

Salary history inquiries prohibited.  Employers will not be permitted to seek salary history from job applicants, and may not use prior salary history information to determine current compensation.

New job posting requirements.  Employers will be required to include certain information on internal or external job postings, including salary range and general description of benefits or other compensation for the position.  For internal postings, employers are required to make reasonable efforts to alert all employees about the opening on the same day and prior to making any promotion decision.

Updated record retention requirements.  Employers will need to keep job descriptions and wage rate history of each employee throughout their entire employment, plus another two years after employment ends.

These new requirements become effective January 1, 2021.  However, if a referendum petition is filed by August 10, 2019, Colorado constituents will vote in the November 2020 general election whether or not to put the bill into law.

Action Items

  1. Look for updates in the event a referendum petition is filed later this year.
  2. Have employment applications and hiring processes updated to remove any request for salary history information.
  3. Have a compensation audit performed to identify wage differentials.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2019 ManagEase

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