Looking for Employees in Colorado? Don’t Forget to Post a Pay Range

By Lorrie Ray posted 01-27-2023 09:24 AM


Many employers are still struggling with posting pay ranges when advertising for open positions, a requirement under Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (EPEWA) since January 2021. To help clarify requirements, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has issued guidance.

The CDLE points out that “the Act covers all ‘employers,’ public or private, that employ at least one person in Colorado, and all employees of those employers.” There are limited exceptions when employers don’t need to comply with the requirements for job postings or promotion notices in the Act or the Equal Pay Transparency Rules. One exception is for organizations with no employees in Colorado, so long as the employer has no employees in Colorado at the time of its hiring or promotion decision, even if it considers Colorado applicants or ultimately hires someone who would work in the state.

Each job posting covered by the EPEWA must include the following:

  • The rate of compensation, or a range of pay, including salary and hourly, piece, or day rate compensation

  • Any bonuses, commissions, or other compensation

  • All benefits the employer is offering for the position, including health care, retirement benefits, paid days off, and any tax-reportable benefits, but not minor perks, such as the use of an on-site gym or employee discounts

An employer may post compensation as a range from the lowest to the highest pay it actually believes it might pay in Colorado for the particular job, depending on circumstances such as employee qualifications, employer finances, or other operational considerations, the CDLE states.

“A range’s bottom and top cannot include open-ended phrases like “$30,000 and up” (with no top of the range), or “up to $60,000” (with no bottom),” according to the CDLE. “An employer may ultimately pay more or less than a posted range, as long as the range, at the time of posting, was what the employer genuinely believed it would be willing to pay for the job.”

The CDLE offers the following examples:

  • An employer can’t post the same $30,000-$100,000 range for janitor and accountant jobs if it does not genuinely anticipate offering an accountant the low end or a janitor the high end.

  • An employer can’t post a $70,000-$100,000 range for a junior accountant position just because it pays senior accountants the high end of that range.

  • An employer can post $70,000-$100,000 for an accountant position if it doesn’t limit the post to junior or senior accountants and genuinely might offer as low as $70,000 for a junior accountant or as much as $100,000 for a senior one.

You can learn more about Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act in this Employers Council whitepaper. If you have any questions, please email our Member Experience Team.