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Colorado's New 'Woke' Law Stops Many Companies from Hiring There

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On Jan. 1, Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act was enacted, with a key provision being all job openings must include the salary range of the position in their description. The immediate result? Many companies are no longer hiring Colorado residents.

The Democrat-led initiative includes verbiage that reads in part, “An employer shall disclose in each posting for each job opening the hourly or salary compensation.”

By ensuring all applicants are aware of a particular position’s salary, the law is meant to address gender wage discrimination. With a transparent and level playing field, legislators felt employers would not be able to offer men and women different salaries.

However, it also prevents companies from having free reign to tailor salaries to important factors such as experience and education, and the Colorado workforce is suffering as a result.

If highly skilled professionals see a particular salary range and deem it to be too low, they may pass it by, never giving the company an opportunity to make a competitive offer. Or, if a company is doing a mass hire and is building out a team, they do not have the freedom to match salaries with the experience of the potential candidates.

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As a result, many companies are skipping Colorado.

Ham-Fisted Legislation Hurts the People It Tries to Help

The Wall Street Journal reported some companies hiring for remote positions are now placing a disclaimer in their job postings: Colorado residents need not apply.

Johnson & Johnson recently advertised two remote positions — a commercial finance senior manager and a senior operations manager — with the disclosure “Work location is flexible if approved by the Company except that position may not be performed remotely from Colorado.”

Should companies be forced to post job salary ranges?

And CBRE, a commercial property corporation, posted an opening for a project management director and noted in bold, “This position may be performed remotely anywhere within the United States except the State of Colorado,” the Journal noted.

Nearly 100 Companies and Counting

Frustrated with what the law was doing to his remote job opportunities, Denver-based software engineer Aaron Batilo created coloradoexcluded.com to list companies that have stopped hiring Colorado residents — 98 of them as of Monday.

On the site, Batilo explained some companies “have decided that excluding all Colorado residents for a remote job that can be filled by someone in any of the other 49 US states is better than sharing how much they’re willing to pay.”

Some of the major companies on the list include AIG, Cigna, Citizens Bank, Fiserv, GoDaddy, Hilton, IBM, Nike, Oracle, Samsung, Twitter and the University of Phoenix.

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While an advocate of salary transparency, Batilo created the site out of frustration at his shrinking job opportunities.

“I thought it was unfortunate that many of these companies wouldn’t even be willing to consider hiring me anymore due to my location. I just wanted a place for people to get information about what’s happening right now,” Batilo told The Western Journal.

Gender pay inequality is a real problem in America, especially for women who return to the workforce after choosing to take time off to raise a family. They could be missing years of salary increases that their male counterparts enjoy.

This inequality is complex with many, many components. The Colorado law that forces companies to disclose salaries does only one thing to level the playing field: It helps to ensure Colorado residents are barred from applying, regardless of their gender.

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Eric Nanneman is a business and technology writer with more than 20 years of investment and banking experience, including stints at Bank of America, Charles Schwab, and Goldwater Bank. He was previously securities registered, holding the Series 7, 63, 9 and 10 FINRA licenses.
Eric Nanneman is a business and technology writer with more than 20 years of investment and banking experience, including stints at Bank of America, Charles Schwab, and Goldwater Bank. He was previously securities registered, holding the Series 7, 63, 9 and 10 FINRA licenses.

He graduated from Arizona State and the Pontifical College Josephinum with degrees in English and philosophy. He has one adult son and resides in Phoenix.




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