Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act

The Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (C.R.S. § 8-5-101 et seq.) was signed into law by Colorado Governor Polis on May 22, 2019. Effective January 1, 2021, this act amends Colorado law and provides new wage discrimination and employer provisions that differ from federal law and other state equal pay laws. UCCS, along with each campus and system office of the University of Colorado, is evaluating the requirements of the new law and reviewing existing policies and pay practices for alignment. UCCS executive leadership, human resources, and legal counsel are leading this effort.

There are several components to Colorado’s Equal Pay Act. Some of the provisions are:

  1. Prohibits wage discrimination by requiring that an employer shall not discriminate between employees on the basis of sex, or on the basis of sex in combination with another protected status, by paying an employee of one sex a wage rate less than the rate paid to an employee of a different sex for substantially similar work (based on a composite of skill; effort, which may include consideration of shift work; and responsibility), regardless of job title. A wage rate differential is permissible if at least one of the following factors accounts for the entire wage rate differential:
    1. A seniority system;
    2. A merit system;
    3. A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production;
    4. The geographic location where the work is performed;
    5. Education, training, or experience to the extent that they are reasonably related to the work in question; or
    6. Travel, if the travel is a regular and necessary condition of the work performed.
  2. The Act requires the employer to keep records of job descriptions and wage rate history for each employee for the duration of employment plus two years after the end of employment.
  3. The Act requires providing notice of job openings and promotional opportunities, including the hourly or salary rate or range, and a general description of all of the benefits and other compensation offered to the hired applicant.
  4. Prohibits using pay history for prospective employees by requiring that an employer shall not seek the wage rate history, or rely on the wage rate history, of a prospective employee to determine a wage rate.  Discrimination or retaliation against a prospective employee for failing to disclose wage rate history is prohibited.

Ever since the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work law was implemented, Human Resources have received several questions regarding how it will impact current employees and our recruitment efforts. In March of 2022, our campus HR Liaisons raised additional questions regarding compensation in general, compression vs. COEPEWA, job postings and job descriptions. Human Resources compiled and assessed the questions and then directed these questions with input to the Chancellor and Cabinet. Below are final the decisions and expectations for the campus community regarding these topics. If you have additional questions please direct them to Human Resources as well as to your own leadership.



Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Who does the EPA apply to?
What does the EPA require?
Who is leading the effort on the UCCS Campus?
What is the timeline for implementing changes?
How long do we need to keep job descriptions and salary history records?
Does this mean that job postings can no longer include "Salary commensurate with experience?"
Will we still be able to set a new employee’s salary based on their experience?
What are “similarly situated” job categories? Is that the job code and title or working title?
What is a promotional opportunity that will be posted under this act?
Compensation Questions

Compensation Questions

If everyone is underpaid, comparing to others at UCCS might not be a good option. Can we compare to others in Colorado with similar jobs?
How does longevity/experience play into the equal pay question?
How can the implementation of these guidelines more equally benefit both current and new staff members?
When no one else has a similar job at UCCS, who do they use to compare?
Equal Pay is supposed to look at each position independently, correct? If a candidate moves to a new position on campus, shouldn't their pay be based off the new range? Not off their current pay?
Compression vs COEPEWA

Compression vs COEPEWA

When new hires are made at market and that leads to salaries for new hires close to or greater than salaries for those in the same discipline at higher rank, experience, and years of service, how will adjustments be made?
How is it fair that new positions are offering the appropriate equal pay to meet these guidelines and coming in at a higher salary than others on a given team, when those who are already staff have been trying to receive a promotion or raise without luck?
Cost of Living Increases

Cost of Living Increases

Appreciate info about the EPA however a lot of my staff are not being able to live on their salary given the rising costs of housing is there a way to request COLA increases because our housing is getting as bad as Denver.
Job Postings

Job Postings

Why is the salary range posted different than what is on the RTF?
Why is a job posted with a higher range than the salary of the person who left (who had been in the job for years?)
What advice/guidance can campus provide when a less experienced employee takes on a new position that was previously held by someone for 5 years and expects to make as much as experienced person who left?
How can we quickly make a counteroffer to retain an employee?
When can an employee get a promotion? Must it always be a change in duties, or can there be other pathways (years of service for example)?
How much can we request for a promotion raise?
How much can we offer as added compensation to an employee taking on the duties of an open position? Especially, when we do not know how long the open position will stay open?
We need help to understand job description changes that would warrant a salary adjustment - right now HR tells us we have to tell them the changes first and then they will let us know.
How does a review process get started? Is HR looking at all positions or do you need to initiate something? What about for those people who you are the only one on campus with your job title?
Can we get more clarification on the years of experience vs degree?
Job Descriptions

Job Descriptions

If our job descriptions haven't been updated for 10 years, how can they make an accurate evaluation? If your job description only matches like 10% of what you actually do - how again can an accurate evaluation be made?
I know that many people do multiple jobs that really can't be compared to our counter parts on other campuses because of the staffing and structure...
Some of our job descriptions are so broad to start with and have "other duties as needed" put in so many words that it would be impossible to do the entire job, especially within a 40-to-50-hour week.