Employment

How an Equal Pay Law in Colorado Is Backfiring

Major companies tell Colorado workers they need not apply.

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A new employee compensation bill in Colorado was supposed to help close gender gaps in worker pay. But the so-called Equal Pay for Equal Work Act could be making it harder for Colorado residents—regardless of gender—to find jobs.

The law—which was passed in 2019 and took effect at the start of this year—ushered in a range of rules regarding employee compensation, including new procedures for adjudicating sex-based wage discrimination complaints and new record-keeping, notice, and transparency requirements. Among these are a stipulation that employers must directly state a position's pay (or a realistic pay range), benefits, and "any bonuses, commissions, or other compensation" as part of every job listing. Furthermore, companies are barred from asking prospective hires about their salary histories.

Thus, not only does the law open companies with Colorado workers up to new legal liabilities and administrative burdens, it also takes away some employer flexibility when it comes to attracting and setting pay for new hires. Many companies would prefer to keep compensation talk more private and, in such private discussions, to use previous salary as a guide to negotiations.

Understandably, some employers who can help it are opting out.

"This is a remote job except that it is not eligible to be performed in Colorado," says an Airbnb listing for an accounting manager.

"This work is to be performed entirely outside of Colorado," says an Ally Financial posting about a developer position.

"Work location is flexible if approved by the Company except that position may not be performed remotely from Colorado," says one managerial job listing at Johnson & Johnson.

Century 21, Cigna, Drizly, Eventbrite, GoDaddy, Hilton, IBM, Nike, the PETA Foundation, Samsung, and a number of other big companies have posted similar notices.

Colorado resident Aaron Batilo compiled a list of them at the website ColoradoExcluded.com. So far, it includes job postings by 98 companies.

"While labor and legal experts say there is nothing technically stopping Coloradans from still applying and being eligible for such jobs, the disclaimers are likely to discourage people wanting to work remotely from the state from pursuing such opportunities," The Wall Street Journal says.

The situation provides a perfect example of how government meddling can backfire. Measures sold as easy fixes to social problems, economic discrepancies, or other situations where central planners think it would be better if they—not employers—get to call the shots can end up leading to unintended consequences that set back the very folks they sought to help.

In May, a federal judge rejected a lawsuit (Rocky Mountain Association of Recruiters v. Moss) challenging two provisions of the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act. "Although the judge found a lack of evidence that the state's equal pay law unduly burdened free speech or interstate commerce—and, conversely, a lack of evidence that it had closed any gender pay gap—prior reports suggest that businesses have altered their hiring practices in ways that are at odds with the spirit of the legislation," reports Colorado Politics.

The lawsuit, brought by the Rocky Mountain Association of Recruiters, specifically objected to the requirement that employers notify all employees about promotional opportunities and new job postings and the requirement that they post salary or wage information in all job listings. Compensation information is "proprietary, highly confidential, and trade secret," the group argued, suggesting that making companies publicly post such information could give a hiring advantage to competitors.

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Employment Gender Sex Sexism Labor Equal Pay Colorado Business and Industry

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137 responses to “How an Equal Pay Law in Colorado Is Backfiring

  1. My industry has stopped asking prior salary history because there are enough jurisdictions that ban it.

    Instead they ask the recruiter if they already know… lol

    But companies aren’t in a hurry to post legally binding salary information or subject themselves to wage discrimination suits.

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    2. If you’re paid through ADP or other major paycheck processor, salary information is easily obtainable, no hacking required.

      1. How so? Is ADP simply handing out private sector pay info to 3rd parties?

    3. Even better, post every job with a salary range of 10k to 500k.

    4. Prior salary history has no relevance to a new job, it’s simply a trick employers use as a phony bargaining chip to pay people less. To me its a red flag that a company would let good talent go because “our policy is to not pay more than 10% more than your prior salary”, it shows a company does not have it’s priorities straight and that HR is hurting the organization. Positions should be paid market value based on the applicant’s experience, skills, and how saturated the market is with talent.

      The life hack around this nefarious corporate practice is to work for yourself, then when you go to apply for a job, if you decide to re-enter employment, you can state whatever you want your prior salary to have been.

      This is the only piece that has any merit, the rest of the Colorado law is horrible for employees. They just killed remote work for their state residents but that might be part of Colorado’s plan. Keep it all trapped in-state.

      1. As an employer, salary history is often a good indicator of the applicants skill level.
        Compensation above the average for years of experience will often indicate a rising star or someone who has job hopped positions with pay above his/her skill level. Compensation below the average for the years of experience will often indicate the person’s skill set is below average.

        In summary, prior salary history can provide good insight into the skill level and / or be used to confirm what is expected skill set from the interview process.

    5. Not sure about my state, but I haven’t been asked that question since the job before last. Instead I get asked what my salary needs are. Which is worse because I’m afraid I’ll price myself out of the position, or ask too little and get taken advantage of.

  2. “The spirit of the law” is here is one more areas we can grab for fascism. The sooner we control ALL aspects of employment, the better.

  3. The law—which was passed in 2019 and took effect at the start of this year

    Welcome to California, Colorado.

    1. You aren’t kidding it is seriously bad. Democrats are going to sink Colorado. If they get their hands on oil and gas leases this will be a major ghost town rivaling Detroit.

      1. But you will be able to “buy” any kind of cake you want.

        (Yes, this is an attempt to duplicate a comment that did not display. Fix your fucking software.)

      2. You forgot the ski resorts.

  4. fucking beautiful. the ironing is delicious.

    1. Well, if she makes sandwiches during a break in ironing, that could be delicious.

  5. The “Law of Unintended Consequences” strikes again. Humans foresight is very limited.

    1. Progressives are largely unable to comprehend 2nd and 3rd tier consequences, only feel-good reactions or outrage-du-jour.

      1. hey! conservatives aren’t chopped liver here. Remember this thing called the drug war? Everyone who isn’t libertarian is equally guilty of misunderstanding that law.

      2. They meant well.

    2. No one was unaware this would happen. People who wanted to pass the law pretended to be unaware, and claimed that those who explained the obvious truth were lying.

  6. The solution is for the government to set pay rates. That way, there can’t be any discrimination.

    Incidentally, this is the difference between socialism and capitalism. Capitalism is when the ownership of industry, prices, and wealth distribution are dominated by markets. Socialism is when the ownership of industry, prices, and wealth distribution is all dominated by government.

    Colorado’s House, Senate, and governor’s mansion are all dominated by Democrats, and the progressives that dominate the Democratic party are socialists. It really shouldn’t surprise us to see socialists try to solve problems with socialism.

    Voting for Republicans won’t be sufficient to undo the damage, but stopping the Democrats from doing further damage with more socialism is a necessary step if you want to move to more of a capitalist economy in your state. For goodness’ sake, the Republicans need to control some aspect of that government.

    1. Your definition is not bad, but there is no mainstream Democrat who advocates for government ownership of industry. More regulations is not socialism.

      1. What do you call mainstream Democrats raising taxes on profits, dividends, and capital gains–if not the government increasing its ownership of industry?

        Jesus Christ, you don’t seem to think much of anything through before you post it.

        1. Regular taxes is not socialism or communism.

          1. Ownership is about owning profits, primarily, and confiscating profits through taxation and redistributing that wealth is all about socialism. And if you insist otherwise, then you’re being willfully stupid–again. It isn’t just that you don’t know a lot. It’s like you don’t want to know anything!

            1. Repost — “willfully stupid–again. It isn’t just that you don’t know a lot. It’s like you don’t want to know anything!”

              Well Said.

          2. I would suggest that if an agency or agencies of municipal, county, state or federal government or all levels together control who a company hires, how much those people are paid, what hours they can work, the physical and environmental conditions under which they can work, the benefits they must receive, the amount of profit the company can make, where they can invest those profits, where they can site their facilities, the type of utilities they can utilize to heat, cool, light, clean, sanitize and decorate their facilities, what products they can produce, how those products can be marketed, how the waste they produce must be re-utilized or recycled or disposed of, what hours of the day they can operate, what odors they can emit, how their executives can be compensated and what races, ethnic or gender identities and sexual preferences are represented on the board of directors; that is pretty darn close to owning and operating the company. Colorado is very close to that level of control, California has already passed that. You can pretend that its not socialism or communism if you want, but whatever you call it, it is certainly NOT free market capitalism.

      2. You can regulate to the point where it’s effectively the same. In school, we learned that it was technically “fascism”, but people avoid the term because the economic definition has been subsumed by the political evils.

        1. Rights are the obligation to respect other people’s choices, and property rights are no exception.

          When you own shares in a company, you get a say in who runs the company. When you own a company outright, you can manage it yourself and choose how revenue is spent, what to charge for products and services, etc. No doubt, to the extent that government forces you to make certain choices through regulation, they are taking ownership in that way, as well.

          Again, we’re talking about the means of production being distributed through markets rather than government in a more capitalist system. You aren’t forced to take your company public in a capitalist system, but you can sell your ownership to other private parties through the market in a capitalist system, where ownership of companies is dominated by the government in a socialist system.

          President Biden wants to increase the corporate tax rate so that he can redistribute more of corporate America’s profits through government. Being President essentially puts his proposals in the mainstream, and wanting to nationalize a larger portion of corporate America so he can redistribute those profits through government clearly makes his proposal socialist.

          When Molly said, “there is no mainstream Democrat who advocates for government ownership of industry. More regulations is not socialism”, she was talking out of her ass–again.

          1. You spelled “Steal” wrong. The only person that can “redistribute” profits is the person who owns it, not the person who takes it under point of gun.

            Or is the person robbing your house simply redistributing your property too?

            1. Because confiscating profits to redistribute them through government is stealing doesn’t mean it isn’t socialism. Molly was claiming that confiscating profits and redistributing them wasn’t socialism. She is wrong about other things too, but she is also wrong about that.

        2. The economics are the evil. It is not technically fascism, it is fascism defined. The state controls the corporations, the corporations control the people. If you don’t believe me, say something bad about Fauci on social media.

      3. So, Molly, what’s the difference between ownership and comprehensive control?

        1. Not a relevant question because comprehensive control is not on the table at all. What we have is people trying to equate normal regulation with socialism.

          1. Bull shit. Setting wages and determining staff demographics, targeted taxes that are more about influencing decisions than raising revenue, and threatening companies and managers with sanctions unless they comply with political policies is ALL about control.

            1. Yeah, again, in a purely capitalist system, wages are set by markets. In a purely socialist system, wages are set by government and those prices for labor are enforced by government.

              The more the government sets wages, the more socialist it becomes. If Molly doesn’t understand this it’s because she’s obtuse. If she doesn’t understand because she doesn’t want to understand, then she’s being willfully obtuse.

          2. As an employer, salary history is often a good indicator of the applicants skill level.
            Compensation above the average for years of experience will often indicate a rising star or someone who has job hopped positions with pay above his/her skill level. Compensation below the average for the years of experience will often indicate the person’s skill set is below average.

            In summary, prior salary history can provide good insight into the skill level and / or be used to confirm what is expected skill set from the interview process.

        2. Increasing the tax rate on profits and/or capital gains is necessarily nationalizing more of industry. In pure socialism, the government confiscates 100% of the profits and 100% of the capital gains, but confiscating less than 100% and redistributing that wealth through government is still socialism. Why wouldn’t it be?

          There isn’t anything complicated or even interesting about this observation. Molly is just being willfully stupid again.

          1. Taxes or normal business regulation does not qualify as socialism under any definition. If it were then every country on the planet and going back at least a thousand years has been socialist.

            1. “Taxes or normal business regulation does not qualify as socialism under any definition.”

              Confiscating profits under criminal penalty and redistributing that wealth through government spending is socialism by the standard definition.

              And by continuing to insist otherwise, you’re making yourself look increasingly stupid.

            2. How much business regulation is “normal”? IMO, we’ve been way past that ever since the Hoover administration. Between taxing a third of the GNP and all the heavily regulated industries, it seems to me that we’re well over 50% government control of the economy – and the one thing the Democrats all agree upon is rapidly increasing this.

      4. Distinction without a difference.

        1. And she’s making shit up out of whole cloth.

      5. I’m not surprised that a fascist doesn’t like being called out for being a fascist, but that is what you are. Just own it.

        1. Fascists always deny being so.

      6. Socialism is precisely what it is, actually. A “regulation” is, by definition, control. And control is ownership.

        You are hiding behind word games.

      7. So you’re saying that socialized medicine is not a common view held by Democrats? Mmmmkay, then.

      8. “there is no mainstream Democrat who advocates for government ownership of industry.”

        What do you think ‘single-payer healthcare’ is, if not government take over of the healthcare industry? I’ve heard more than a few Democrats advocate for that.

      9. It’s not socialism, it’s “Democratic Socialism “!

    2. It really comes down to trusting people. Left and right ideologues just can’t allow people to make decisions for themselves.

      1. And markets are nothing but people making choices for themselves.

  7. Since a number of those companies have had pretty woke messaging lately; I’m shocked! Shocked to find that woke messaging doesn’t translate to actually running a business.

    1. Is there a company that doesn’t have woke messaging these days?

      1. Small to Mid size. What’s left of them after the pandemic anyway.

        1. It makes sense for companies to be woke. They will be subjected to immense pressure and criticism for failing to come down on the “right” side of the complaint du jour. If they’re unlucky, they’ll be boycotted or subject to Congressional inquiry. Much better to pay a small amount to virtue signal and remove the problem. Especially when they know that they will face no consequences for doing so from the non-woke side of the aisle. Republicans buy sneakers too – but they do so without whining about corporations’ internal policies.

    2. “doesn’t translate to actually running a business.”

      Clearly not woke enough.

  8. where central planners think it would be better if they—not employers—get to call the shots can end up leading to unintended consequences that set back the very folks they sought to help.

    One of the reasons for the continued existence of socialists is – this belief.

    In a free market, it is not employers who call the shots. It is COMPETITION that calls the shots – and that competition includes employees. By definition, a free market means no one entity sets the prices.

    The nanosecond you frame this where the only conceivable option is that either employers or gummint ‘calls the shots’, then you have just opened the door for people to decide to call the shots through govt when calling the shots through employers turns out to not work. You make it necessary to believe that someone has to call the shots.

    You’re not interested in a free market are you.

    1. “Alexandria Ocasio Cortez is the future of the [Democratic] Party”. I don’t think anyone is pretending any more.

      1. She’s not. The socialist democrat message is failing. The dems lost seats in the house in the last election. McAllen TX elected a republican mayor. Cubans were a factor that gave Trump FL in 2020. They are having to redefine their messages because they are not popular. Defund the police for example. That topic is dead in NYC.

        1. I hope you’re right. But I could just as easily point to Trump handing far leftists two Georgia Senate seats.

          1. What handed leftists two Georgia seats was changes in voting laws. These changes were backed by Zuckerberg and the DNC. There was also ask the propaganda from CNN et al that helped.

    2. This is why I’m not offended by transparency requirements for pay rates.

      Employees have much less information than employers.

      1. If you don’t know how much you’re worth, you’re probably not a serious candidate.

        1. You’re not worth what you say you’re worth, you’re worth what the market will bear.

      2. “Employees have much less information than employers.”

        Your cite fell off, and there’s no reason to believe that’s other than a lefty fantasy.

        1. That is beyond lefty fantasy. It is full blown retard.

          It is in the best interest of the political class if the rising generation lacks to power to persuade or negotiate. This law guarantees they never have to learn.

          When this doesn’t work, they will advocate government setting private wage rate ranges like they already do for public employees and for public contracts.

          1. Good your back! I was worried about you my latter day friend.

            1. Can’t you come up with something better, like an actual argument?

              You need Jesus.

        2. Your cite fell off, and there’s no reason to believe that’s other than a lefty fantasy.

          Plenty of people (in Michigan specifically) still aren’t aware that it is illegal for their employer to prohibit, or retaliate against, the sharing of wage information. Do you have anything other that baseless insults to support your position?

    3. In a true free market the employers will always screw over the workers, and horribly so. That is just not acceptable in a modern society. Thus basic labor laws are needed.

      1. Is that how you run your business?

        1. She told me the other day she was a scientist.

          1. Yeah, and I’m an astronaut.

            1. Or is she like a political scientist, or some other bullshit?

              1. She mentioned political science as a possibility. She was defending the government funding science with my tax money that the private sector won’t because the private sector won’t.

                “I am a scientist and I understand the value of basic level research that might not make profit but is highly valuable for other reasons. And I said the research is not profitable, not that it is useless. Non profitable research includes astronomy, archeology, psychology, history, political science, space exploration, and many others.

                —-Molly Godiva

                https://reason.com/2021/06/16/federal-science-funding-wont-accomplish-anything-the-private-sector-cant-do-better/#comment-8952979

                “If you’re a scientist working for the government, I suspect you’re like all the other parasites, who come to imagine they’re entitled to suck the blood out of our backs. You’re still just taking advantage of people by threatening to throw them in prison if they don’t pay you to do worthless research, and your rationalizations for that ethically disgraceful behavior are horseshit. No wonder you hate libertarian capitalism so. If this were a free and capitalist society, you’d be forced to find some profitable activity–that’s of value to someone–or starve to death. I have more respect for janitors.

                —-Ken Shultz, Ibidem

                This isn’t the first time she’s been confused about people doing work that’s worth more than the cost of doing it. In that thread, however, it was the other way around–she thought paying people to do worthless work with taxpayer money was ingenious. I’m apparently not smart enough to understand why paying more for something than it’s worth is ingenious.

                1. Ah, explains the socialist tendencies.

                2. She’s said she’s an engineer phd in the past.

                3. I am quite flattered that you all care so much to remember or look up my past statements 🙂

                  1. You are all still right wing loonies.

                    1. Come up with an argument next time.

          2. She sounds more like an AI. She is certainly arguing the words here instead of grasping Ken’s larger point.

            1. Not an AI, but a far left liberal.

      2. “In a true free market the employers will always screw over the workers, and horribly so.”

        If your employer has never offered you a significant raise for fear that you might leave, then you suck.

        If you’re worth more than the market cost of replacing you in your industry, then you need to change professions.

      3. “In a true free market the employers will always screw over the workers, and horribly so.”

        Screams every selfish-entitled twit trying to STEAL what someone else created… In a free-market you have the OPTION to be the better employer if you think you can! You don’t get the option to go around pointing Gov-Guns at others and pretend what they have created is yours.

        1. The amount of projection that people like Molly put out is fucking staggering.

      4. In a true free market the workers will always screw over the employers, and horribly so. That is just not acceptable in modern society. Thus basic wage controls are needed (like the ones that led to our current messed up heath insurance system).

        Ultimately, both sides are trying to screw each other over. However, an outsider really has no way of knowing what the ‘fair’ wage is. The absolute best thing we can do is to have a healthy economy that leads to employers competing with each other to hire workers, and good opportunities for workers to develop skills that potential employers will value. When you try to arbitrate between the two sides without actually changing what each brings to the table, you are just begging employers to come up with new and creative ways to screw their employees. Back when minimum wage actually mattered, crappy employers would require their employees to be ready to be called in at any time (no pay unless they are actually called in). As soon as market wages lifted above minimum wage, that sort of stuff stopped. For the last three or so years, ‘unskilled’ employees are no longer disposable. That is a glorious thing. Boost minimum wages and drive up compliance costs to run the less efficient small businesses out of business and they will dumping their employees onto the labor market, and suddenly the big boys can be back to their old tricks. Amazon isn’t advocating for a $15/hour minimum wage out of the kindness of their hearts.

        1. For a true free market to work, both sides need access to information that they need to make decisions. That is the point of the CO law, to give employees and applicants the information they need.

          1. Funny; I didn’t know ‘law’ was just an information bulletin.
            URFOS.
            Law is enforced by Gun Point.

  9. This is only going to affect tech goons on the Front Range who migrated there over the last ten years, so as long as they’re hurting, it’s all right. Maybe those mentally ill psychotics will pack up and move somewhere else if they can’t find work to help them afford the area’s sky-high housing costs that they helped jack up.

    Every community the tech industry touches these days turns into a hyper-expensive behavioral sink with no redeeming social value–just an acultural consooooooooomer shithole looking for the next boutique restaurant to pimp.

    1. Speaking of boutique shitholes:

      Police on Monday afternoon were responding to reports of an active shooter in a Denver suburb.

      One officer was injured and taken to hospital in Olde Town Arvada, 10 miles north west of downtown Denver.

      1. What asshole suburb of Denver do you call home Red?

        Do you just not celebrate the 4th or do you burn American flags? Use copies of the constitution for tp?

        1. I told you, you hicklib pederast. I’m still waiting for you to show your meth-addled self.

          1. I don’t do meth. You don’t live at an Islamic center. The deal was your real address.

            Are you a Mormon or evangelical Christian? It would explain your bigotry and hatred of alcohol and drugs

            1. The hicklib pederast drug addict is too much of a pussy to show up and find out.

      2. You obviously don’t drink beer and bbq like a normal person. You’re hatred of alcohol and drugs is because I think your Mormon.

        That explains why you don’t like me so much.

    2. It’ll boom Cheyenne Wyoming, new town for tech workers, zero income tax.

  10. >Compensation information is “proprietary, highly confidential, and trade secret,” the group argued,

    This implies that employees are not allowed to tell anyone how much they make. Must be interesting when they apply for a mortgage.

    1. Federal law says employees are free to talk about salary info.

      1. Complete non sequitur and irrelevant. Trade secret law allows disclosure of info. That info is simply no long a trade secret.

    2. However, Exxon doesn’t want Chevron to know how much they are paying for engineers, because it can easily turn into bidding wars.

    3. Actually, if you research deep enough, you will find an NLRB ruling that open discussion of wages, hours, and other conditions of employment is a prerequisite for union organizing, and it therefore cannot be prohibited by company policy.
      The NLRB is silent on peer pressure, or people just uncomfortable talking about wages.

      1. You can talk. But you’ll never get another promotion. And you can be sure your name will be black listed. Unofficially, of course.

        1. Blacklisting is racist. The correct term is ‘suppression of misinformation’.

  11. I have in the past been subject to “super secret” bonuses at work. Based on performance, I received 10 to 15% yearly bonus at times. Because my employer liked me and appreciated my efforts. I haven’t had that in the last 15 years after changing employers. The atmosphere and rewards have changed.

  12. Posting salary and bonus information in the job posting is basic courtesy ant should be standard even if not mandated. The fact that companies are so unwilling to do that just tells everyone that they are actively trying to screw over their employees. This should be a law at a national level.

    1. So you post this information when you hire people?

      1. Yes. The company that I work for does post salary info with every job posting.

    2. You have a real problem with seeing a Person as an individual instead of a [WE] foundation.

      As-if every single person to ever apply for that job was EXACTLY the same person. Let me clue you in. Not EVERYONE is exactly the same person and different people will provide different levels of value and liability.

      1. She’s a socialist, but she’s to embarrassed or stupid to admit it.

        1. She’s just a run of the mill fascist. She’s got a long way to go if she ever wants to be in Tony’s league.

    3. In today’s job market, if a prospective employee doesn’t like the info in the posting they can go to the next posting on the list. There is nothing in free market capitalism that obligates a business owner to open job postings to every person out looking for a job. There is no point in opening a Comptroller position to anyone without a CPA and at least a couple years of experience or opening a shaft-miner position to workers over the age of 70 with severe physical limitations. Employer should not be burdened with screening dozens or hundreds of utterly unsuitable applications out of some misguided sense of fairness. It doesn’t matter how much those jobs pay or what bonuses come with a job, the employer legitimately has the right to determine what groups s/he will recruit from.

    4. “screw” does not “search for the best deal”.

      When hiring someone there are two considerations that prevent you from advertising the exact salary.

      For one, it’s a RANGE. You might pay $50k for an entry level person or someone who seems like they are ok but if you find a star performer you might pay $100K to pull them away from their current employer.

      Even with low-skilled work like fast food and retail, employers will pay the better employees more to stay on and more to work busy days etc. Crappy employees get fewer days on the schedule, get paid minimum wage, and don’t get promoted, miss out on bonuses etc, for doing the “same” job.

      Anyone who has ever had anything to do with a business will understand these things.

      1. Then you post the salary range. Not hard.

    5. I have quite literally never accepted the listed salary. I regard that as an opening offer and a floor on compensation. Kinda sounds like I’m NOT getting screwed over at all. Negotiation is a skill – learn it or quit whining.

  13. Colorado is in the Pat Brown phase of Democrat leadership. Perhaps some old time Californians will agree. Anyone right of Carter hated Pat Brown, until Jerry Brown came along. Anyone right of Clinton hated Jerry Brown until Newsome came along ( and on it goes). I shutter to think what the next California Democrat Governor will be? So, although Polis is a progressive with a very few nods to libertarians, it could be worse. We have that going for us. A few good years or decades hopefully.

    1. Eric Garcetti

  14. Sell your individual souls to the [WE] foundation; because you don’t own you – [WE] own you!

  15. I would laugh at the lack of foresight that led to these supposedly unforeseen consequences except that I suspect the consequences were wholly expected by the people who wrote this legislation. Remember, their aim is to destroy commerce and cripple the economy, create shortages and increase poverty. Those conditions make the proles easier to control and have worked marvelously in making Communism palatable to a formerly free people. Read “The Future is History” by Masha Gessen, the last few chapters explain the steps to creating a totalitarian state.

  16. It seems the above conversation is especially vitriolic for folks who claim to have “free minds”.

    You all will peg me as a progressive pretty quick, but I would like to state that I consider myself a libertarian in many ways and always prefer less laws (coercion, violence, etc) the better.

    But, consider this quote from Investopedia.com (https://www.investopedia.com/terms/p/perfectcompetition.asp) from their FAQ section (however trustworthy that may or may not be):

    “What is perfect competition?
    In economic theory, perfect competition occurs when all companies sell identical products, market share does not influence price, companies are able to enter or exit without barrier, buyers have “perfect” or full information, and companies cannot determine prices. In other words, it is a market that is entirely influenced by market forces. It is the opposite of imperfect competition, which is a more accurate reflection of a current market structure.”

    So, while few of you might actually want to see perfect competition, it is interesting to think about a law that enforces more information being provided to job seekers about pay, benefits, etc, as encouraging more competition. If the product is the job, and the buyer is the job seeker, perhaps there could be much more competition among companies to attract candidates than in a system where all that information is hidden to all prospective buyers (imagine a jam market where sellers won’t disclose what they jam is made of!). Buyers have full information about what they are buying, and they wouldn’t be sold a different product (the job) based on how much they’ve paid for something in the past (wage history) or what they look like (gender/race/etc).

    It is easier to accept this premise if you believe that government’s roll is to set the playing field fairly, which I am guessing many of you don’t believe. But think about it for a bit and try not to respond with tired and unproductive claims about fascists and morons. Do you want socialists and commies to think of you as thoughtful, motivated, critical people or as mean ideologues? Probably the latter, but hopefully the former.

    Happy thinking!

    1. Do you want socialists and commies to think of you as thoughtful, motivated, critical people or as mean ideologues? Probably the latter, but hopefully the former.

      They’re the enemy, so it doesn’t really matter, does it?

    2. ” government’s roll[sic] is to set the playing field fairly”

      Even if a libertarian were to support that notion, please define “fairly”

      1. Yeah, that’s a great point. I guess in a democracy, the voting public defines “fair”, and as history shows, that definition is constantly changing and never agreed upon by all. Obviously Coloradoans have defined what they think is fair, and have to live with companies not wanting to hire teleworkers there. Workers can freely decide whether they want to work for companies that have that kind of philosophy, by choosing to move out of Colorado if they want that job.

        1. I’d also point out that the United States are NOT democracies. There are representative republics that typically (though not always) feature a huge incumbency advantage and a revolving door between entrenched corporate interests and massive regulatory entities. As such, the rules tend to favor the elites more and more over time. It’s hard to find anyone (other than politicians and bureaucrats) who would call that fair.

    3. From the Article: including new procedures for adjudicating sex-based wage discrimination complaints and new record-keeping, notice, and transparency requirements. Among these are a stipulation that employers must directly state a position’s pay (or a realistic pay range), benefits, and “any bonuses, commissions, or other compensation” as part of every job listing. Furthermore, companies are barred from asking prospective hires about their salary histories.

      This appears to be a restriction in information, not increasing information. Under your “ideal” situation the employer would be entitled to know the applicants salary history. Why the double standard here?

      From your post:

      So, while few of you might actually want to see perfect competition, it is interesting to think about a law that enforces more information being provided to job seekers about pay, benefits,

      If you wish to claim to be libertarian, you should familiarize yourself with the NAP. A third party should not be initiating force in a transaction between consenting parties. The employer is entitled to ask for as much information as they want (job history, pay history, education, certificates…), and the applicant can respond in kind. Conversely, the applicant is entitled to ask for as much information as they want (About pay, bonuses, salaries, benefits, working conditions…) and the employer can respond in kind. The use of coercive force in this transaction is entirely unnecessary.

      1. Thank you for pointing that out, you make good points. As I said, my ideas are flexible, personally I am ok with that double standard because I think job seekers should have more power (because I obviously am not an employer of people).

        Where I find an issue is that many employers ban their employees from speaking about their earnings. So how do we get companies to open up about their practices?

        1. As I said, my ideas are flexible, personally I am ok with that double standard because I think job seekers should have more power (because I obviously am not an employer of people).

          An applicant and potential employer enter into a brief adversarial negotiation relationship, in which each party is looking to get the best deal they can. Part of any negotiation is leverage, and that includes information that can be advantageous to either party. It is up to the parties involved in the negotiation whether they wish to reveal otherwise private information (fraud excepted.)

          Low skilled workers tend to lack any leverage in negotiations (power to use your words). So what you say is true about them. For everyone else, that’s not the case. Indeed, for high-skilled jobs the applicant typically holds the cards.

          When I was younger and low-skilled, I used to think that the employer had all of the power in the negotiations. Once I got older and more experienced I realized that things had reversed. The first time I got an email from a head-hunter was eye opening in that regard. The power relationship had flipped.

          Employers may ban employees from talking about compensation, but a quick trip to glassdoor.com should disabuse you with the notion that people don’t discuss things like pay, benefits, and working conditions. Some companies have moved to a completely transparent salary model, with mixed results.

          In all of these relationships, the intervention of government force violates the NAP and creates a distortion. Such distortions typically end up making everyone worse off.

          1. Thank you for your perspectives. I got what I hoped from this: a well thought-out counter argument that has allowed my views to grow. And some further reading, though my brief scan of NAP on wikipedia makes me think that there are wide ranging views among libertarians on what does and doesn’t violate it.

            1. Indeed, there are incredibly divergent paths down the NAP trail. If you follow them through internet and philosophical discussions you’ll discover the “Libertarian Purity Spiral.” Good times.

    4. And the undeniable B.S. message underneath this steaming pile of poo?
      If you believe that government’s roll is to set the playing field fairly
      ….. is ……
      That “fair play” is TAKING AWAY by gov-gun the people’s Individual Liberty to hire and be-hired by in-person negotiation terms…

      Sounds exactly like it’s a — “For their own good” B.S.

      UR a socialist, communists, fascist simply because you do not cherish Individuals Liberty or Justice. Justice isn’t *FORCING* the people to do as they’re told by petty “for their own good” B.S.

  17. Colorado is fast becoming California light.

  18. A similar law in California, prohibiting employers from asking about current salary, had the effect of opening the door for people to simply lie about their current salary. The result is that even incompetent employees are asking for higher salaries knowing their prospective employee has no option except to accept what they say.

  19. Laws are judged by their goals, not by their actual impact. And all laws can be justified by great goals.

  20. At one time our family business was five fully separate companies. We had a total of 47 employees, including my wife and me. They were all in separate kinds of business. I managed a computer consulting business. My wife managed a tutoring business. We had people who managed the other three businesses that we held majority interests of as LLC’s. My wife was also a paralegal and very good at it. We made it abundantly clear to each and every employee that their salary was unique to only themselves and that disclosure to anyone else except their spouse was forbidden as a condition of employment. My wife and I were the sole arbiters of who got hired, and the LLC’s managers gave us a list to choose from. We cut our employee problems about wages by doing this. Every employee was guaranteed a paycheck of the state’s minimum wage. Some employees got a guaranteed performance pay above minimum wage. Everybody got a percentage of half the quarterly of the company they worked for. Everyone knew how their company was doing every month because the employee share amount was posted for each company. Sometimes that number was negative. There was a lot of turnover with new employees, and during hard times, but those who stayed at least a year and did not live from paycheck to paycheck liked the pay system. In 2010 the costs of doing business exploded. We kept going until our personal income from being in business was too small to keep the businesses. The employees knew the end was near, and we communicated with them well, as best we could when. Finally, we gave everyone a month’s notice, and those who stayed to the bitter end got an extra month’s minimum paycheck. We quit business the end of November 2010.

  21. Pretty much the same thing happened with my employer last year in California and New York. We rely on millions of independent contractors to annotate training datasets for tech clients. When they passed legislation to force us to hire these contractors as employees with benefits, what do you think happened? We stopped hiring contractors in those states.

  22. Is there some part of this law that stipulates they can’t post absurdly wide ranges for salaries? Like, they couldn’t they say on the listing that the salary is “between $0 and $20 million per year depending on qualification, assessment, negotiation, and experience.”?

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