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Colorado’s new law ensuring equal pay

On Behalf of | Jan 26, 2024 | Employment Law

Despite measures to ensure equality in the workplace, it may come as a surprise that some people are paid less than others doing the same job. Colorado is taking steps to eliminate that practice.

Effective January 1, 2024, Colorado enacted SB23-105, ‘Ensure Equal Pay for Equal Work.’ What does this law entail, and what do employers need to know?

Understanding SB23-105

The Equal Pay for Equal Work Act is an important piece of legislation. It aimed to close the wage gap in Colorado by prohibiting employers from paying employees of one sex less than employees of another sex for similar work.

The law applies to all employers in Colorado and employers from other states who employ Colorado residents.

SB23-105 expands on that law. It requires employers to announce job openings with a salary range to ensure transparency and discourage low-ball offers. Furthermore, employers are prohibited from asking about a prospective employee’s wage history or relying on it to determine wages. This is to prevent perpetuating wage inequalities from previous jobs.

It will also require the state to investigate wage discrimination complaints and increase the amount of back pay that can be recovered.

To comply with SB23-105, employers should conduct regular pay audits to identify and address potential disparities. They should also update their hiring practices to align with the new requirements, such as providing a salary range in job postings and refraining from asking about salary history.

Employers who fail to comply with SB23-105 face significant penalties, including fines between $500 and $10,000, back pay, and legal fees.

Employers may want to review their policies and procedures with someone who can ensure they are in legal compliance.