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June 6, 2023

SIGNED! Legislation to Strengthen Equal Pay for Equal Work Act Becomes Law

DENVER, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed into law a bill that will strengthen Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act and ensure all Colorado workers are compensated equally for their labor.

SB23-105, sponsored by Senators Jessie Danielson, D-Wheat Ridge, and Janet Buckner, D-Aurora, and House Assistant Majority Leader Jennifer Bacon, D-Denver, and Representative Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, D-Denver, strengthens existing law by requiring the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) to accept and mediate complaints, provide legal resources concerning alleged wage inequality, and to order compliance when an employer is found to be practicing wage discrimination. Previously the department was only authorized to do so; this bill provides a clearer directive and the resources and staffing to back it up.

“Nobody should be paid less than their peers for doing the same work - but for too many women in Colorado that is still the case,” Danielson said. “We fought to address this inequity through the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, and this measure will build on that success. SB 105 is a concrete step to address the wage gap between men and women, and I am excited to see this bill get signed into law.”

“If men and women are doing the same job, they should be compensated the same, but this isn’t the reality for all women living in Colorado,” said Gonzales-Gutierrez. “This law strengthens Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, further breaking down wage barriers and helping women succeed in their careers. Despite Colorado’s progress, we’re still fighting to achieve pay equity. This law plays a major role in closing the wage gap, ultimately uplifting women and supporting families.” 

“The Equal Pay for Equal Work Act has made great strides toward ensuring that every Coloradan is paid equally for their labor,” Buckner said. “But unfortunately we are still seeing women earn less than men for doing the exact same job. It’s unacceptable. By requiring the state to investigate and take action when wage discrimination complaints are filed, we can better ensure that every Colorado worker receives the equal pay they’re entitled to.”

“By strengthening Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, we’re doubling down on our commitment to closing the wage gap,” said Bacon. “Women are still earning less than men for doing the same job. This law combats wage discrimination and sets women on track to advocate for better, fairer wages. When women earn fair wages, communities are strengthened, families are supported, and our economy grows.”

Additionally, SB23-105 increases the amount of back pay that can be recovered in confirmed instances of wage discrimination. The bill also requires employers to follow specific guidelines for job postings and career advancement avenues to further promote workplace fairness.

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