Supporters of Colorado’s pay-transparency law eye protections for workers ‘blackballed’ by national employers |

Supporters of Colorado’s pay-transparency law eye protections for workers ‘blackballed’ by national employers

Jesse Paul, Tamara Chuang, and Daniel Ducassi
The Colorado Sun
State Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, a Denver Democrat, speaks at a rally March 2, 2019, at the Colorado Capitol in support of legislation seeking to ensure men and women are paid equally for equal work. On her left is state Sen. Jessie Danielson, a Lakewood Democrat.
Photo by Jesse Paul / The Colorado Sun

Some big companies are refusing to hire remote workers in Colorado because of the 2019 Equal Pay Act

DENVER — Democratic state lawmakers behind a law requiring companies to include a salary range in any job posting are eyeing changes to the policy following reports that out-of-state employers are refusing to hire Coloradans to work for them remotely because of the provision.

But the lawmakers and other proponents of the 2019 legislation aren’t interested in backing off the requirement. Instead they are looking at how to double down and prevent employers from boxing out Colorado workers.

“I would want to protect our Coloradans and make sure they’re not being singled out,” said Rep. Serena Gonzales-Guitierrez, a Denver Democrat and prime sponsor of the 2019 law, called the Equal Pay Act. “I just don’t think that’s right.”

The Wall Street Journal last week reported that big national employers — like Johnson & Johnson, McKesson Corporation and Cardinal Health — all have posted remote-work jobs with a disclaimer that the job cannot be done from Colorado. The newspaper’s headline was “Many Companies Want Remote Workers — Except From Colorado,” stoking criticism from opponents of the measure who say burdensome government regulation is costing Coloradans jobs.

The legislation, aimed at ensuring women are paid equally to men, was a priority for Democrats three years ago. It was a first-in-the-nation policy that also requires that companies post internal advancement opportunities, and it creates a mechanism for people to file complaints with the state if they believe they are being underpaid because of their gender. The law went into effect on Jan. 1.

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