For years, bills to ensure pay equity were blocked at legislature

(May 22) – Gov. Polis signed Rep. Janet Buckner and Rep. Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez’s bill to help close the wage gap in Colorado.

“Pay discrimination is a persistent issue that short changes women and their families. As an African-American woman, this new law is personal because black women make 63 cents on the dollar compared to white men.,” Rep. Buckner, D-Aurora, said. “With this law, we are taking a bold step to help close the gender wage gap by addressing the root cause of pay disparity.”

Women are the sole breadwinners in a growing number of hardworking families in Colorado.

“We are fighting for women to be treated with the dignity, fairness and respect they deserve. This new law is a Colorado solution that strikes a balance between workers and employers. Now is the time for our state to take the lead in achieving equal pay for equal work,” said Rep. Gonzales-Gutierrez, D-Denver. “To solve the pay gap, Colorado must address unintentional wage disparity. This new law implements common sense prevention and transparency measures to fight the pay gap.”

Rep. Meg Froelich, D-Englewood and Rep. Lisa Cutter, D-Evergreen and former member of the state legislature Polly Baca and many others were on hand for the signing ceremony at the Women’s Foundation of Colorado in Denver.

Colorado women are paid 86 cents for every dollar paid to men for doing the same job and African-American women earn 63 cents for every dollar paid to men for doing the same job. The law, SB19-085, provides an avenue by which Coloradans can, through mediation via the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment and through the court system, seek relief if they have been discriminated against in their compensation based on their sex. The law puts proactive measures to reduce the gender pay gap and prohibits employers from discriminating against workers based on sex.

The House approved the bill on a vote of 40-21 with every House Republican voting to maintain the status quo.

Click here to view the full live stream. Attached are photos from the signing ceremony.

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