Equal Pay for Equal Work 

Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (EPEWA), which went into effect on January 1, 2021, amends existing Colorado law and provides new wage discrimination protections to prevent pay disparities.

The intent of the legislation is to close the pay gap in Colorado and ensure that employees with similar job duties are paid the same wage rate regardless of sex or sex in combination with another protected identity status. Sex includes gender identity. The law also strives to bring transparency to promotional decisions made at the university, requiring CSU to announce all promotional opportunities before a final decision is made.

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What does this mean for CSU? 

1. Requires employers to post or announce job openings and promotions internally for at least one day before making an internal hire or promoting an employee.

Promotional opportunity postings and announcements will be placed on the Talent Management System (TMS) internal job board beginning January 1. The purpose of the internal job posting or announcement of promotional opportunities is to announce to our workforce salary information tied to a position.

We have received further guidance from the State’s Department of Personnel Administration clarifying a promotional opportunity announcement is required when an employee will be promoted and there is not a vacant position. The following language will be included in promotional opportunity announcements when there is not a vacant position: The following is a promotional opportunity announcement and not a vacant position. In the instant of a promotional opportunity announcement, applications will not be accepted. The latest guidance received clarifies for CSU that an individual being promoted through an alternative appointment request does not need to worry that their employment/promotion at the University is in jeopardy.

Internal searches for vacant positions are considered promotional opportunities requiring postings, and applications will be accepted and considered. For additional details regarding the difference between promotional announcements and internal searches for promotional opportunities, please see the definitions below.

The table shows the different promotion scenarios and their corresponding system/form requirements.

For additional guidance on how to create a Promotional Announcement, please see the guide below.

2. Prohibits employers from asking job candidates about their previous compensation levels.

This means supervisors and hiring authorities may not ask candidates in any manner about current or past salaries. A candidate may be asked what their salary expectation is for the position for which they have applied and are being considered.

3. Requires the use of appropriate salary ranges when posting a job opening, based on compensation levels for similar jobs/duties and market comparisons.

An appropriate salary range, as well as a general description of benefits, must be included in each job posting. A salary range is required for all Administrative Professional and Faculty job postings; a set salary figure is not acceptable. Using the general statement that “pay is commensurate with experience” will not comply with the Act.

A set hourly pay rate may be listed in place of a range for Temporary Hourly (Non-Student Hourly) positions where a range is not appropriate and for some State Classified positions where the living wage set by CSU is the top of the salary range for that classification. For Temporary Hourly positions, the minimum of the range or set rate cannot be lower than Colorado’s minimum hourly rate.

4. Faculty Promotions

Faculty promotions are considered promotional opportunities without a vacancy requiring announcements. The Office of Equal Opportunity will work with the Office of the Provost and the colleges to arrange for the appropriate announcements on the TMS internal job board at the appropriate time toward the conclusion of the promotion process.

5. Including Employee Benefits on all job postings 

A new Employee Benefits field has been added to all Posting forms in the TMS. This new field will automatically populate on a job posting and will include a link to the benefits offered for that specific employment type.

6. Non-Student Hourly (NSH) positions must now be posted in the TMS

All Non-Student Hourly positions must now be listed in the TMS for at least one day and will be referred to as Temporary Hourly in the TMS. For additional guidance on posting NSH positions in the TMS, please see Human Resources’ website.

Definitions

A promotion occurs when an employee receives new or different authority, duties, opportunities, responsibilities, benefits, salary, or access to further advancement.

A promotional announcement is required when an employee’s current position is expanding, and they are receiving a promotion as described above. A change in salary alone does not require a promotional announcement. Under the Act, all promotional announcements must be listed to the TMS internal job board for a minimum of one day and will not accept applications. All off-cycle salary forms tied to changes in duties or responsibilities and position modifications, regardless of whether the classification changes, require a promotional announcement.

An internal search for a promotional opportunity is used when there is a new vacancy and the department wishes to move a current employee into the vacant position. If approved by OEO, the department can run an internal, competitive search using the search committee model to promote an employee. Internal search postings must provide a rationale in the TMS for the limited recruitment, state in the minimum qualifications that applicants must be a current CSU employee, and will be posted to the TMS internal job board for a minimum of one week and two weekends.

An Alternative Appointment Request (AAR) seeks to hire an individual external or internal to CSU into a new vacancy without an open, competitive search process. As CSU is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer, AARs are significant deviations from the standard expectation that all Faculty and Administrative Professional positions be filled through national searches and will only be approved in extraordinary circumstances.

AARs will no longer be used for internal promotions to a new position or title changes/expansion of duties. For internal promotions to a new vacancy, OEO will require departments to conduct an internal search. If an employee’s current position is expanding, departments will use the promotional announcement path and an AAR will not be required, even if the job or research series classification is changing.

The TMS internal job board is a section of the CSU jobs website that is only accessible by current CSU employees with an employee ID. It is where internal searches are advertised, and promotions are announced. Current employees can access the internal job board to apply to postings for open internal searches and see promotional announcements.

TMS and Process Changes

  1. All Non-Student Hourly (NSH) positions, which will now be called Temporary Hourly positions in the TMS, must be posted in the TMS for one day.
  2. All promotional announcements will be announced via a TMS posting on the internal job board for a minimum of one day, before a promotional decision is made.
  3. A new OEO review step has been added to the Position Management module of TMS in order to review requests for potential AARs earlier in the workflow.
  4. The “Justification of Need” box found on a position modification will be updated to “Why are you modifying this position description?” to allow for more detail at the beginning of the modification process.
  5. OEO is relinquishing the “OEO Preview” workflow step in TMS. Postings will move straight to “Final Review” to expedite the posting process.

Updates in the TMS and OEO process changes will be effective March 1.

Frequently Asked Questions

The EPEWA applies to all employers and employees in the state of Colorado.

“Employer” means the state or any political subdivision, commission, department, institution, or school district thereof, and every other person employing a person in the state.

“Employee” means a person employed by an employer. All employees at CSU are covered, including student and non-student hourly employees.

  1. Prohibits wage discrimination. An employer cannot discriminate between employees on the basis of sex, or on the basis of sex in combination with another protected status, by paying an employee of one sex a wage rate less than the rate paid to an employee of a different sex for substantially similar work, regardless of job title (measured as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility).
  2. Prohibits seeking pay history information. An employer cannot ask job candidates about their previous compensation levels. This means supervisors and hiring authorities may not ask candidates in any manner about current or past salaries. Prior wage history may not be used to determine a current salary and may not justify a disparity in the current wage rate.
  3. Requires pay transparency. Employers cannot prevent their employees from discussing their own salary information with others. An employee may inquire about, disclose, compare, and discuss their salary. An employer may not take any adverse action or retaliate against an employee for seeking salary information or speaking freely about their salary.
  4. Requires posting job openings and promotional opportunities. Employers are required to post all vacant and new positions and announce promotional opportunities prior to making a promotion decision.
  5. Requires a salary range and description of benefits on every job posting. Employers must include the hourly or salary rate or range, and a general description of all the benefits and other compensation offered.
  6. Requires record keeping. An employer must keep records of job descriptions and wage rate history for each employee for the duration of the employment of that employee plus two years after the end of employment.
  • The Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) and Human Resources Department (HR) are working to effectuate the required changes to ensure CSU’s compliance.
  • Please contact OEO with any questions at oeo@colostate.edu or Human Resources at hr_service_center@Mail.Colostate.edu.
  • No, the EPEWA prohibits employers from asking candidates about their previous salary. This means supervisors and hiring authorities may not ask candidates in any manner about current or past salaries. They may ask a candidate what their salary expectation is for the position for which they have applied and are being considered.

Prior wage history may not be used to determine a current salary and may not justify a disparity in a current wage rate.

  • Yes, a salary within the range listed on the position announcement may be negotiated.
  • An employer may pay more than the listed range if the posted range was the employer’s good-faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting. Approval to offer greater than the listed salary range is required from the Office of Equal Opportunity for administrative professional and academic faculty positions.
  • An appropriate salary range, as well as a general description of benefits, must be included in each job posting. A salary range is required for all Administrative Professional and Faculty job postings; a set salary figure is not acceptable. Using the general statement that “pay is commensurate with experience” will not comply with the EPEWA.
  • A set hourly pay rate may be listed in place of a range for Temporary Hourly (NSH) positions where a range is not appropriate and for some State Classified positions where the living wage set by CSU is the top of the salary range for that classification. For Temporary Hourly positions, the minimum of the range or set rate cannot be lower than Colorado’s minimum hourly rate.
  • Benefits will be automatically noted in the TMS for each job opening within the new Employee Benefits field.
  •  A “promotional opportunity” exists when an employer has or anticipates a vacancy in an existing or new position that could be considered a promotion for one or more employee(s) in terms of compensation, benefits, status, duties, or access to further advancement.
  • Vacancy in an Existing Position. An employer “has or anticipates a vacancy” when an existing position that the employer intends to fill is open or is held by a departing employee. For example, an employer “anticipates a vacancy” when an employee gives notice of resignation, and the employer intends to hire a replacement.
  • Vacancy in a New Position. A vacancy in a new position exists when an employer: (1) adds a position; or (2) gives an existing employee a new position, including by changing their title, and/or materially changing their authority, duties, or opportunities, but not merely by changing their pay or by adding to their title an externally obtained degree or certification such as “CPA” or “LCSW.” A vacancy in a new position thus includes a lateral job change, or a promotion along a fixed, in-line career trajectory, for which a current employee is eligible.
  • The EPEWA requires employers to announce an opportunity for promotion to all current employees for at least one day prior to making a promotion decision.
  • This will affect how CSU handles Alternative Appointment Requests (AARs). After an AAR is approved, the posting will be placed on the Talent Management System internal job board for internal searches and potential promotions for one day. If any additional applicants apply for the position within the posting period, the hiring authority must consider those applicants who meet the minimum qualifications.
  • Additionally, all salary increases tied to changes in “title, and/or materially changing their authority, duties, or opportunities” will be posted to the internal job board for one day. This includes changes in salaries as a result of changes in duties and responsibilities submitted through the out of cycle salary increase process. A change in salary only does not require a position to be posted as a promotional opportunity.
  • OEO and HR will be working with the Office of Budgets and the Provost’s Office to facilitate posting any positions that would be considered promotional opportunities under this EPEWA submitted through an out of cycle salary increase request or the annual salary exercise.
  • While an AAR is still not required, the position is a promotional opportunity and must be posted to the internal job board under the EPEWA. This means once the position is reclassified to the higher level, the department must create a posting using the newly modified position description and the posting will be listed to CSU’s internal job board for one day.
  • Moving forward, Non-Student Hourly will be called Temporary Hourly in the TMS.
  • All Temporary Hourly positions must now be posted through the TMS for one day on the internal job board. Departments may also choose to post externally should they wish.
  • A new workflow is being created in the TMS system. A simple posting will be required.  To expedite the process, the postings will use pre-populated templates that will allow slight edits to reflect the role a department is seeking. A classification review will not be required for these positions. A salary range will be required. A general description of benefits will be automatically noted in the TMS.
  • Training Materials can be found here.
  • An acting or interim appointment is not required to be posted for a position filled on a temporary basis for up to six months when the hiring is not expected to be permanent.
  • Promotional opportunity posting requirements do not apply to positions whose work is entirely conducted outside of the State of Colorado.
  • An internal search for a promotional opportunity is used when there is a new vacancy and the department wishes to move a current employee into the vacant position. If approved by OEO, the department can run an internal, competitive search using the search committee model to promote an employee. Internal search postings must provide a rationale in the TMS for the limited recruitment, state in the minimum qualifications that applicants must be a current CSU employee, and will be posted to the TMS internal job board for a minimum of one week and two weekends.
  • A promotional announcement is required when an Administrative Professional employee’s current position is expanding, and they are receiving a promotion as described above. A change in salary alone does not require a promotional announcement. Under the Act, all promotional announcements must be listed to the TMS internal job board for a minimum of one day and will not accept applications. All off-cycle salary forms tied to changes in duties or responsibilities and position modifications, regardless of whether the classification changes, require a promotional announcement.

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