Colorado’s new wage law is a danger to remote workers

Employers don’t read the fine print and exclude Coloradans.

The state’s law on equal pay for equal work, which came into effect in January this year, has had unintended consequences.

The law, which was supposed to increase transparency and equality in hiring practices, contains a provision that employers are trying to circumvent: wage compensation must be included in all job offers.

According to the bill, employers must disclose hourly or salary compensation (either a specific number or a range), as well as a general description of the benefits for each advertisement.

As a result, companies with ties to Colorado (even a few existing employees) should follow these guidelines when posting job postings for remote work. Colorado is the only state to have a rule like this, and at a time when remote working is more common than ever, employers’ misunderstanding of the law is leading some to cut back Colorado in the candidate pools completely.

Although job postings excluding Coloradans are rare (the Colorado Division Labor and Employment Department, or CDLE, estimates that they represent less than 1% of job postings), most offenses originate from within the state, at corporate headquartered, offices in Colorado. or staff.

“We recently sent out lettered notices to two dozen employers explaining the need for the required salary disclosures for remote jobs,” said Scott Moss, who heads the labor statistics arm of CDLE. Two-thirds of these employers are in Denver. This figure rises to 90 percent if you include nearby suburbs and small towns.

Violations could ultimately cost employers – fines are at least $ 500 each and can go up to $ 10,000 per citation. CDLE has not yet started conducting formal surveys, aimed at clarifying information for employers and giving them the opportunity to update job vacancies.

State law does not affect businesses without a presence in Colorado, even if Coloradians apply for a remote job offer.

Moss pointed out that “compensation disclosure can be implemented flexibly, often with little change from existing practices.” No special format is needed to comply, and the compensation information can be very brief and indicate a flexible salary range. Companies with Colorado staff cannot circumvent disclosure law by excluding Coloradans from their hiring pools, as the requirements apply to any company with Colorado ties, not just companies that are hiring. of the Coloradans.

In a written statement to Denverite, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce said it still supports the law, although it “has consistently expressed concerns that the rules impose burdens on employers.” They said the regulations “are incredibly complex and confusing, which is probably why we are seeing inconsistent enforcement from businesses and nonprofits as they strive to fully comply with the law.” .

The House identified issues with the bill’s salary disclosure language early on and attempted to work with sponsors to change it during drafting, according to one. Colorado Politics article.

follow this link to read a summary of the law (or the entire bill, if that’s your thing).

Correction: This story has been updated to reflect that the law is statewide, not just Denver.

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