Colorado equal pay for equal work act

  • Effective January 1, 2021.
  • Created to address pay disparities experienced by female and minority workers.
  • Applies to all public and private employers in Colorado regardless of number of employees.
  • Key provisions for employers include:
    1. Prohibits employers from paying an employee of one sex a wage rate less than the rate paid to employees of a different sex performing substantially similar work.
    2. Requires an employer to announce to all employees employment advancement opportunities and job openings and the pay range for the openings.
    3. Employers are required to retain job descriptions and wage rate history records for each employee during his/her employment and for 2 years after the employment ends.
    4. Employers are prohibited from relying on an employee’s previous wage rate in setting his/her current rate.
    5. Employers may not condition employment for a prospective employee on the disclosure of an employee’s wage history or wage rate.
    6. Exceptions which permit pay differences are those arising from the following factors so long as the employer demonstrates that the pay differential is not based on wage rate history, the factors are applied reasonably, and the employer accounts for the entire wage rate differential:
      1. A seniority system;
      2. A merit system;
      3. A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production;
      4. The geographic location where the work is performed;
      5. Education, training, or experience to the extent that they are reasonably related to the work in question; or
      6. Travel, if the travel is a regular and necessary condition of the work performed.
    7. Fines for violations of the Act by employers range from $500.00 to $10,000.00 per violation.
    8. For more information, please see a summary of the Act from the Colorado General Assembly website.
    9. On November 10, 2020, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment: Division of Labor Standards and Statistics issued final Equal Pay Transparency (EPT) Rules implementing the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. These EPT Rules are effective January 1, 2021, and can be found here.
Megan Butz

By Megan Butz
General Counsel, HR Compliance, Checkwriters
Megan joined Checkwriters in 2020 and is responsible for reviewing, revising, and implementing internal policies of the company, advising on human resource, employment, and labor matters, and monitoring and publishing state and federal legal updates to the Checkwriters News and Compliance Center for distribution to thousands of clients around the country. Before joining Checkwriters, Megan served as a judicial law clerk for the justices of the Massachusetts Probate and Family Court performing legal research and writing, followed by private practice in Cape Cod.

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