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Colorado's Equal Pay Act: Campuses Preparing for Compliance
The Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act introduces rules intended to address the gender pay gap, increase transparency, and protect employees from pay discrimination. It went into effect on Jan. 1.
The law prohibits sex-based pay discrimination for substantially similar work in terms of skill, effort and responsibility, regardless of job title. The University of Colorado is dedicated to pay equity, and cross-campus project committees have been preparing for the law’s implementation. After initial analyses, the act is not expected to result in widespread salary changes; reducing or eliminating jobs; or changes to working titles or job duties.
“We are committed to addressing inequities that we may find. In addition, employees will now have greater transparency into job opportunities and pay ranges and will have resources to address any concerns,” said Felicity O’Herron, Chief Human Resources Officer at the University of Colorado System Administration.
About the act
Pay equity and transparency
In enacting protections against sex-based pay discrimination, the law permits pay differences accounting for job-related education, current and previous relevant experience; a seniority system; merit; geographic location; travel as a regular and necessary condition of the job; and a system measuring earnings by quantity or quality of production.
Employees are protected against sex-based pay discrimination (including gender identity) alone or combined with other protected statuses.
Employers cannot prevent employees from discussing, disclosing or inquiring about their pay rate. It also prevents asking job candidates for wage history or using it to determine a wage rate.
Job posting and recordkeeping
New job notice requirements provide ways to learn about job opportunities. It requires posting all open jobs with the hiring rate or salary range, along with benefits and compensation details. This includes temporary and working retiree positions, as well as promotional opportunities.
Implementing the act
A cross-campus project committee has been working to review salaries for pay disparities and developing an approach to remediate any identified inequities. More details will be provided as the committee’s work continues.
Existing university and campus policies and procedures are being reviewed to ensure compliance with the law. All policy changes will be posted before being implemented, and details will be reported to the university community.
Other efforts will ensure all job descriptions are stored and updated. Campuses will develop approaches to collect relevant prior work experience.
For addition details on the Equal Pay Act, visit your campus Equal Pay Act webpage.