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Question

Colorado Employers - What steps are you taking to prepare for Colorado's Equal Pay Act going into effect January 1, 2021?

Jonathan Liepe's picture
Human Resources Supervisor - Talent Acquisition & Selection Colorado Springs Utilities

I am dedicated to attracting talented individuals to join our team at Colorado Springs Utilities! We are a community-owned utility provider of water, wastewater, natural gas and electric services...

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  • Dec 23, 2020
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Colorado's Equal Pay Act goes into effect on January 1, 2021.  Provisions in the legislation limit allowed reasons for pay disparity, require all employers to include pay and benefits information in job ads, bans asking about past pay and using past pay as a basis for pay, inform existing employees of promotional opportunities, prohibits retaliation for invoking the law, and provides remedies for aggrieved employees. 

Are you ready for this? What steps did you take to get ready? What have you found to be the most challenging aspects of doing so?  

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My concern is for the smaller companies - in this case for the smaller utilities.  While some of these regulations might be necessary for larger corporations, smaller companies are finding it harder and harder to keep up with all the rules and regs. It might make sense to form a small group of HR members here in Colorado to hop on a call to share insights on how they plan to tackle this.   Perhaps a mini PowerSession discussion.  If you would be interested, ping me at audra@energycentral.com and I will see what I can pull together in the next few months. 

Jonathan Liepe's picture
Jonathan Liepe on Jan 9, 2021

I often wonder how this kind of information is disseminated once legislated. I agree, smaller organizations that don't take the time to pay attention to the legal landscape are more at risk. This is one reason the HR profession is so important within a company. An organized discussion may be helpful. There have been a number of these over the past year hosted by law firms and others on this very subject. There is also a lot of quick reference information available with a simple Google search. With that said, I am finding the nuanced implications of this legislation rather cumbersome and would advise any and every employer to consult with legal counsel for recommendations. 

Leigh  Taylor's picture
Leigh Taylor on Jan 13, 2021

As a national recruiter, our team has yet to encounter this for Colorado.   However, I'm more confused by what needs to be posted for "benefits" in a job posting. 

I did find this in another group... Follow this link 

Audra Drazga's picture
Audra Drazga on Jan 14, 2021

Leigh - thanks for sharing - I put your link as a hyperlink so it is easier to click on and follow. 

Good point on what needs to be posted in job listings.  

Jonathan Liepe's picture
Jonathan Liepe on Feb 3, 2021

Leigh - I have attended several webinars and had various discussions regarding this topic. The short answer that seems to be predominant is a list of benefits offered is sufficient. The guiding principle is benefits that are of monetary value/consequence.  You can list these in each posting OR include a link to a benefits page (should you have one for your company). With listing your benefits - it is not necessary to have a detailed description for each so can simply state - medical, dental, vision, 401(k), vacation time, sick time, etc. 

Any law that moves pay equity forward is a step in the right direction. Many professionals and middle managers find themselves disadvantaged due to past pay history, either within a company or when seeking employment elsewhere. This certainly supports women and the underrepresented in the workplace. Many of these posting, notification, and interview practices are being utilized by large employers to attract to top candidates. My concern is with the trim organizations and small employers who do not have the staff to ensure detailed compliance, leaving them open to litigation. 

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