Why some employers are avoiding remote workers in Colorado

Some employers seeking remote workers are bypassing hiring in Colorado to avoid a new state law that requires companies to disclose the expected salary or pay range for open roles that are advertised, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Colorado's Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, which took effect Jan. 1, requires employers based anywhere in the U.S. with at least one employee in Colorado to disclose salary compensation and employee benefits in job postings for positions that are expected to be, or can be, performed in the state, including remotely. 

Now a number of advertised job postings, including those for healthcare companies, state that the open job cannot be done in Colorado. "Work location is flexible if approved by the company except that position may not be performed remotely from Colorado," reads a caveat from Johnson & Johnson for open senior manager positions, the Journal reports.

Aaron Batilo, a software engineer near Denver who has worked remotely since 2019, has compiled a list of employers that explicitly exclude Colorado in job postings. ColoradoExcluded.com lists 110 firms at the time of publication.

Colorado's Department of Labor and Employment recently opened an investigation into a complaint about at least one company's remote job posting excluding Colorado residents, according to the Journal. Businesses have argued that the transparency rule is an administrative burden. 

Labor and legal experts said nothing is technically stopping Coloradans from applying for jobs that are advertised with caveats, but the exclusion is likely discouraging.

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