Passed in Colorado in 2019 but fully effective January 1, 2021, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act prohibits all employers in the state, regardless of size, from discriminating based on sex and gender identity. Your email address will not be published. A lot of us have spent many weeks working tirelessly to confront the reality of rapidly changing state and local guidelines, furloughs, layoffs, dire financial circumstances, and more. 7. The employer cannot, however, ask a job applicant about his or her salary history. Denver, CO 80202, © Copyright 2020 Colorado Chamber of Commerce. SB-85, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act.”, Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, What comes next for businesses as ‘equal pay for equal work’ becomes Colorado law, Colorado business leaders split on equal-pay measure headed to Gov. The law also includes a provision that, if an employer undertakes a “thorough and comprehensive pay audit of its workforce, with the specific goal of identifying and remedying unlawful pay disparities” within two years prior to a worker filing a lawsuit, then that study will be taken as evidence by the court of the employer’s good faith. The Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, which comes into effect on January 1, 2021, will impact all Colorado-based businesses. Even in the best circumstances, it can take a lot of time and resources to comply with laws. Terminating or retaliating against or discriminating against a worker who invokes enforcement of the Act. Colorado’s law is both broad and deep in scope, and failure to comply can have a major financial impact. This good-faith effort can legally protect your organization from non-compliance, provided the audit is a legitimate attempt to identify and correct pay disparities. Each time a new law or regulation is passed, there are challenges to overcome to make sure you’re in compliance. Posted by: Karen Booher on October 22nd, 2020. 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 in question; or. Starting on January 1, 2021, a new law in Colorado—the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act—will go into effect. Establishing a process by the CDLE Labor Division to accept and mediate complaints by workers and provide them with legal resources regarding alleged violations; and. Colorado Governor Jared Polis has signed the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act: a new law governing pay equity in Colorado that has implications for employers across the state. The law requires pay equity, which is equal pay (including benefits) for substantially similar work. However, taking steps now to update your processes and record-keeping will go a long way toward ensuring compliance come January 1. Allowing into evidence before a district court that an employer had conducted a pay audit of its workforce to identify any pay disparities if conducted within two years prior to the date of a civil action. Retaliating or discriminating against a prospective job applicant if he or she does not disclose prior wage-rate history. The worker is not required, however, to first proceed with the CDLE Labor Division and then the CCRD before filing a lawsuit. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate leadership responded to the coalition’s concerns and encouraged the successful adoption of various amendments, including the following: Additional amendments were adopted in the House, including: Because the bill was amended to the satisfaction of the Colorado Chamber, it then moved to a “neutral position.”. A worker who has been discriminated against can recover back pay–known as economic damages–for a period of up to three years. “Equal-pay measure advances at Colorado Capitol despite significant business concerns,” by Ed Sealover, The Denver Business Journal, February 21st. The new law now defines the term this way: 7)  “Liquidated damages” means damages to compensate an employee for the delay in receiving amounts due as a result of an employer’s violation of this Article 5. First, the Colorado Chamber supports “equal pay for equal work” as a general proposition. Consider using a third party like a full-service HR provider to help update your practices and processes and ensure you’re in compliance. Important Work: How an HR Partner Can Help You Get It All Done, How to Outsource HR Without Multi-Vendor Management Mayhem, Develop and implement compensation plans with no consideration to sex or gender identity, Make sure all employees have access to job descriptions, job postings, and promotion opportunities on the same business day, Disclose hourly wage or salary, benefits, and other compensation to all employees when posting jobs, Keep records of job descriptions and wage history for each employee for up to two years after termination, Provide a variety of options for an employee seeking financial relief for violations. As introduced, SB-85 removed the administrative process of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment for filing wage-discrimination complaints against employers. 1. If necessary, develop a remediation plan to rectify illegal disparities. 4. All Rights Reserved. Starting on January 1, 2021, a new law in Colorado—the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act—will go into effect. There are also steep fines for violating job posting and record-keeping requirements. The law forbids discrimination between genders on the basis of pay and includes a newly created right for employees who have suffered such discrimination to sue their employer. Polis’ desk, Senate passes equal-pay measure that would enable Colorado Women to sue noncompliant employers, Equal-pay measure advances at Colorado Capitol despite significant business concerns.