Uncertain Legislative Future for Pay Equity

In wake of House Bills 1377 and 1378, stakeholders disagree on best path forward

The last month of the 2018 legislative session saw the rise and fall of two bills that put Colorado back in the debate happening in various incarnations around the U.S. over how to close the persistent gender wage gap. Lawmakers debated House Bill 1377 and 1378, which would have limited private employers’ ability to ask applicants about pay history and codified requirements for enforcing equal pay between the sexes.

The House introduced both bills right after the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a watershed decision April 9 that ruled compensation history alone does not justify a pay disparity between men and women.

Both bills passed the House, but the Senate’s State, Veteran and Military Affairs Committee indefinitely postponed both bills in the last week of the session.

Lobbyists and lawmakers seem to expect another legislative effort before too long to limit employers asking for pay history, but with much disagreement still remaining between legislators on opposite sides of the aisle on the best way to codify it, it’s uncertain when such a bill may actually have a chance to make it all the way to the governor’s desk.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the May 21, 2018 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.