Don’t Bother Applying To Remote Positions, Companies Tell Coloradans

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Colorado residents are discovering that they’re ineligible to apply for remote jobs with several major U.S. companies. Their crime? Living in Colorado.

Businesses are avoiding hiring in the Centennial State due to a new state law requiring them to disclose the salary details of open positions. Offenders can be fined $500 up to $10,000 for a single violation.

A Rocky Recruitment Process

The law was intended to address the gender wage gap and promote wage transparency, but it led to a raft of blue-ribbon firms advising Coloradans to look for work elsewhere. A website tracking remote job openings that specifically exclude Colorado applicants shows positions at Nike, Twitter, AirBnB, Johnson & Johnson, and IBM, among many others.

And industry and state officials are now grappling with the consequences:

  • A Colorado trade group, The Rocky Mountain Association of Recruiters, filed an injunction against the law earlier this year, arguing it overly burdens employers and violates free speech laws. But that was quickly shot down by a federal judge.
  • Colorado’s Department of Labor and Employment is investigating at least one complaint about a company’s remote job posting that bars Colorado residents, though it’s unclear what can be done about the matter.

“You can’t stop the internet essentially at a state line. Anyone can apply for anything,” Laura Mitchell, a lawyer at Denver firm Jackson Lewis P.C., told The Wall Street Journal. “The question comes down to whether or not an employer would actually consider that candidate for the role.”

A Better Way? Maryland and California have laws that require companies to disclose compensation ranges, but only individually upon an applicant’s request. Neither state has faced the same backlash.

No (Lentil) Soup For You: Boulder, Colorado ranked third in the U.S. among the best cities for vegetarians, according to a survey by Apartment Guide. Fort Collins and Denver also cracked the top 50. But People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which is hiring for a fully remote litigation counsel, doesn’t want applicants from any of those cities.