It’s the Law: Equal Pay for Equal Work
Statement from The Women’s Foundation of Colorado Board & Staff
May 22, 2019, is a historic day in Colorado. Gov. Jared Polis signed the “Equal Pay for Equal Work Act” into law, ensuring that all workers will be paid fairly for the value of their work. The Women’s Foundation of Colorado, along with a strong coalition of partners and leaders in the Colorado General Assembly, celebrates this victory for our entire state.
The passage of Senate Bill 19-085 is the culmination of years of research, advocacy, and collaboration that first started with legislation introduced to close the gender pay gap by State Sen. Polly Baca and State Rep. Arie Taylor 39 years ago.
Equal pay = a win for Colorado
Women comprise 46 percent of the Colorado workforce and are breadwinners in nearly half of Colorado families with children. For too long, the gender pay gap impeded their economic progress, their families’ economic security, and the growth of our state’s economy. In 2015, our research with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research showed that closing the gender pay gap could grow the Colorado economy by more than $9.2 billion and cut the poverty level for all working women by half.
One of the country’s most comprehensive equal pay measures
The Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, one of the country’s most comprehensive equal pay protections, was developed with input from employers and employees, provides protections and promotes equity for workers of all genders, and will:
- Close pay gaps, which disproportionately impact women of color, by encouraging employers to review their pay systems and address inequities.
- Benefit women across all industries and at all stages of their careers, whether they are entering the workforce or have been working for decades.
- Help employers retain their skilled labor force.
With this groundbreaking legislation in place, more women will thrive and, together, we will all rise.
Additional outcomes from WFCO’s work with our partners during the 2019 legislative session can be found on our blog post, “A Win for Women in the Workplace.“