Are You Ready For the CO Equal Pay Act and Other Upcoming Changes to Colorado Laws
Pay equity is a method of eliminating gender and race discrimination when establishing and maintaining wages. According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, the persistence of the gender wage gap is shown by data released by the Census Bureau on Sept. 10, 2019. In 2018, the median salaries for all full-time, year-round workers showed women earning 81.6 cents for every dollar men earned, statistically the same gap as in 2017. The median salaries of all full-time, year-round workers showed women earning $45,097 compared to $55,291 for men in 2018. The new Colorado Equal Pay Act goes into effect January 1, 2021, and imposes new requirements and possible legal liability on all employers in our state. The law requires changes to application forms, pre-employment processes, and job posting processes. Employers will need to have defensible compensation structures where pay disparities among employees performing substantially similar work are explained by one or more of factors allowed under the new law. Also new is CO’s COMPS Order #36, which is newly applicable to all private employers in the state, not just employers in certain industries. The wage order sets out rules for nonexempt employee breaks and meal periods and daily overtime, among other things. The new wage order also goes beyond previous wage orders by requiring an increase in the minimum salary level for employees to be exempt from overtime. This change goes above and beyond the current federal requirement. These two new laws will be discussed along with state legislative trends and bills introduced in the current Colorado legislative session.
1. To stay up-to-date and compliant with Colorado law changes that affect your organization, in particular the new Colorado Equal Pay Act and the new CO COMPS Order #36.
2. To be aware of state legislative trends and bills introduced in the current Colorado legislative session.
3. To put my organization in the best position to defend itself from potential legal challenges based on Colorado law changes.
Tina Harkness, Esq., SPHR
Tina is an employment law attorney and the Director of Employers Council’s Northern Regional Office in Loveland, Colorado. She represents employers in a wide variety of employment law matters. Tina is a frequent speaker and facilitator of training on topics including legal issues in managing employees, harassment prevention, civil rights, managing employee medical issues, diversity, and other subjects.
Approved for 1.5 SHRM and 1.5 HRCI General Credit.