Colorado Strengthens Pay Transparency Law

Author: Emily Scace, XpertHR Legal Editor

June 7, 2023

Colorado, which in 2021 became the first state to mandate the disclosure of pay ranges in job postings, has amended its pay transparency law to require employers to disclose significantly more information to existing employees about available job opportunities and career progression paths.

In addition to the existing requirement to include a pay range and description of benefits in any job posting, employers will be required to include a predicted date for closure of the application window. Employers must also make reasonable efforts to announce or otherwise make each job opportunity known to all employees on the same calendar day and before making a selection decision.

The existing law requires employers to inform current employees only of promotion opportunities rather than all internal openings.

For employers with fewer than 15 employees in Colorado, all of whom work remotely, the employer is only required to provide notice of remote job opportunities until July 1, 2029.

Within 30 days after a selected candidate begins working in a position, employers must make reasonable efforts to announce or otherwise make known:

  • The selected candidate's name;
  • The selected candidate's former job title, if the individual is an internal hire;
  • The selected candidate's new job title; and
  • Information on how employees may demonstrate interest in similar job opportunities in the future.

The bill provides that employers are not required to identify selected candidates in a manner that violates a privacy right under federal, state or local law or that would place the candidate's health or safety at risk.

For jobs with regular career progressions, employers also must inform all eligible employees of the requirements for career progression, in addition to the:

  • Compensation;
  • Benefits;
  • Full-time or part-time status;
  • Job duties; and
  • Advancement opportunities for each step of the progression.

Career progression is defined in the bill as a regular or automatic movement from one position to another based on time in a specific role or other objective metrics.

The bill also enhances the enforcement mechanisms for the state's equal pay law, requiring the state labor department to create and administer a mediation process, investigate complaints, order compliance and relief for any violations, and develop enforcement regulations.

The new law will take effect January 1, 2024, unless a referendum petition is filed, in which case the law will not take effect until approved by voters in the November 2024 election.

Currently, eight states mandate that employers disclose pay ranges for open positions, either in job postings or during the interview process. Bills in Hawaii and Illinois have passed the state legislatures and are expected to be signed.