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Coloradans Need Not Apply: Some Companies Won't Hire Coloradans Because of New Labor Law

DENVER (CBS4)- Andrew Hudson is CEO of Andrew Hudson's Job List, an internet job board for Coloradans. He says when Colorado's new Equal Pay for Equal Work Act became law, there was some apprehension.

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"I've heard some people thought it was anti-competitive that companies are posting salaries that their competitors can see now," Hudson says.

The law, among other things, requires that companies post the salary range for open positions. The bill's sponsor Colorado Sen. Jessie Danielson says the goal was to close the gender pay gap.

"When employers don't post the salary range or what the benefits might be, an employee can be hired for much less than they are worth," she says.

It has had unintentional effects, however. Some companies are refusing to hire Coloradans for remote work because they don't want to reveal what they pay.

Danielson says she thinks that is wrong, "There's a likelihood that they will have to pay their employees more and they want to avoid that. I think it's a real shame."

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CBS4's Michael Abeyta found at least three job postings that said Coloradans need not apply. If you see one on your job hunt, there are ways to fight back.

"If someone in Colorado sees a job posting like this they can file a complaint," says Danielson.

That's not an empty threat. The law also gives enforcement powers to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

So far, Scott Moss the Director of the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics for the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment says most companies have complied on their own or when asked changed their postings to comply. They have not run across any employer willfully skirting the law, but if they do they can penalize the offending company.

"Upon conclusion of the investigation we issue an order that can order the employer to bring their practice into compliance," says Moss.

They can also issue a fine but Moss says for now they are holding off of fining employers because the law is so new.

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Danielson says she will work to make the law stronger if she needs to, but Andrew Hudson says most employers like the law because it helps them weed out candidates. He says other states have similar laws and if an employer excludes Coloradans because of this law, they are making a big mistake.

"Colorado has one of the most educated workforces in the entire country," he says.

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