Comment of the Day

Reader: Banning Colorado Is a Hiccup on Way to Fairer Pay for Everyone

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In 2019, the Colorado Legislature passed the Equal Pay for Equal Work measure, making this the first — and so far, only — state to require that salary ranges be included in job postings, along with other moves designed to make employment in this state more equitable...and transparent.

But even as many people discovered the joys of working remotely in this state and moved here to take advantage of Colorado's many amenities, some national advertisers started banning applications from Coloradans, in an effort to avoid the state's salary-posting requirement. For example, one Airbnb job posting notes: "This is a remote job except that it is not eligible to be performed in Colorado."

In their comments on the Westword Facebook post of this story, readers are divided on whether this exclusions of Colorado is a mountain...or a molehill. Says Liz:
Short-term consequences for long-term gain. This is a good thing for employees, and provides a more fair playing field. We should hope this is adopted by other states, or even nationally, and then the current Colorado-centric problem won't be an issue.
Counters Brian:
Idiots and the ignorant writing laws that don’t understand the secondary impacts of the good intentions.
Wonders Magnolia:
Why do so many of these companies have government contracts in Colorado? If they want to take advantage of our booming economy (one of the fastest-growing in the nation), then they’ll learn to play by the rules — and they’ll say “thank you,” too.
Notes Scott:
This is the problem with being a first-mover on an important issue (does cannabis legalization ring a bell here?). When more states and hopefully the federal government implement similar laws, this problem disappears. This is a hiccup on the way to fairer pay for literally everyone.
Responds Daniel:
As the courts found, the law can be enforced, as was the desire of Colorado's leaders. And as the market has found, employers both in- and out of state have the right to avoid hiring Colorado-based workers as a result of the law. Sure, it may seem like a small matter, but posting a potential salary range presents significant legal and negotiative disadvantages to employers, who want labor at the cheapest possible cost. The law puts Colorado applicants in a competitive disadvantage versus literally any other state's. Had this been a national law, or if multiple states had pushed it at once, then there would have been pressure on recruiters and employers to adapt to the law rather than merely avoid it. Overall, an incredibly poor effort from Colorado's leaders, and ultimately damaging to the state.
Concludes Cheryl:
This should be a national law. Don’t let these multimillion/billion dollar companies get away with paying piddly wages especially for women.
Have you encountered "no Coloradans need apply" ads? What do you think of the Equal Pay for Equal Work law? Post a comment or share your thoughts at [email protected]
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