February 20, 2019

Denver, CO –  The Senate Judiciary Committee today voted 3-to-2 to advance SB19-085, the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, sponsored by Senators Jessie Danielson (D–Jefferson County) and Brittany Pettersen (D–Jefferson County), to implement measures to prevent pay disparities and create a level playing field for Colorado workers in today’s economy. The bill now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee for consideration. 

Women in Colorado earn an average of 86 cents for every dollar men earn for the same work. But the pay gap is even more pronounced for women of color – Black and Latina women respectively earn 63.1 and 53.5 cents for every dollar men earn for the same work, according to the Women’s Foundation of Colorado.

“Wage discrimination based on gender hurts hardworking Colorado families and holds back our state’s economy. Passing the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act will help give hundreds of thousands of families greater economic security,” said Senator Danielson. ”When my daughter enters the workforce, I want her and every young woman who works hard and plays by the rules to never know the kind of discrimination women face today. Earning the same pay for the same work is one step closer.”

“The wage gap perpetuates a lifetime of discrimination – not just for all women and their families, but for young people and people of color too,” said Senator Pettersen. “The Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act will help ensure that every Coloradan has the same opportunities to succeed in life and in an economy that works for everyone.”

The Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act would require companies to notify all qualified employees about job advancement opportunities when they are announced, as well as the salary range for that opening. It would also forbid employers from seeking the wage rate history of a prospective employee or relying on a prior wage rate to determine salary.

In addition to these proactive measures to ensure equal pay, the bill would also permit a complainant to bring a civil action in district court to pursue remedies if they believe their wage differential is based on gender. 

For more information about the specifics of the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, please visit: https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb19-085.