Equal Pay

Unlawful Sex Discrimination in Compensation

Federal and Colorado law requires equal pay for equal work – employers must pay employees of one sex the same as employees of another sex for equal work.

The federal and Colorado equal pay laws address sex discrimination in the payment of compensation.

The law protects employees in the private sector and federal, state, local government employment.

Murray Law welcomes the opportunity to provide experienced counsel and representation to persons subjected to sex discrimination concerning the federal and Colorado protections about equal pay.

This practice represents clients asserting discrimination claims in federal and state court lawsuits, filing discrimination charges with federal, state, and local government agencies, and mediation and arbitration proceedings.

Steven Murray has successfully represented individuals asserting discrimination claims in lawsuits before multiple United States District Courts, including obtaining jury verdicts and resolutions on behalf of clients in cases before the United States District Court for the District of Colorado and mediation proceedings.

A New Colorado Equal Pay Law

On January 1, 2021, the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act became effective.

All employers, public and private, within Colorado must comply with the law.

The Colorado Equal Pay Act prohibits employers from paying an employee of one sex, including gender identity, less than the rate of an employee of another sex when the two employees perform substantially similar work.

Substantially similar work is a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, including consideration for shift differentials.

Discrimination Provisions

The Colorado law prohibits (1) pay discrimination based on sex, including gender identity; and (2) pay inequities based on sex plus another protected status, including race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, or ancestry.

The Colorado Act prevents employers from:

  • Asking about a job candidate’s wage history or relying on the person’s wage history to determine a wage rate.
  • Discriminating or retaliating against a prospective employee for failing to disclose wage history.
  • Preventing employees from discussing their own compensation information with other employees.
  • Requiring employees to sign a waiver, preventing them from discussing their compensation.

Civil Charges – Lawsuits – Remedies

Individuals asserting violations of the Colorado law may file a charge with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment or file a private lawsuit directly in a Colorado District Court and request a jury trial.

An employee’s potential remedies include back pay for up to three years, liquidated damages in an amount equal to the back wages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.

Federal Law

The Equal Pay Act of 1963, a federal law, requires that men and women be paid equal pay for equal work in the same workplace.

The Equal Pay Act covers virtually all types of compensation, including but not limited to salary, bonuses, insurance, profit-sharing.

The Act requires that men and women be paid the same for equal work on jobs requiring equal skill, effort, responsibility and performed under similar working conditions.

An individual may file a lawsuit directly under the federal Equal Pay Act in court without filing a charge of discrimination with the EEOC or a state agency, such as the Colorado Rights Division.

An individual may also contest a sexually discriminatory difference in compensation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. The remedies under Title VII are distinct from the remedies under the Equal Pay Act.


Federal and Colorado equal pay laws prohibit employers from discriminating against individuals by retaliation because they engaged in a protected activity.

Protected activity includes but is not limited to filing a charge of unequal pay discrimination with the employer or filing a charge of discrimination with a federal or state government agency.


Murray Law welcomes the opportunity to provide dedicated legal counsel and representation to any person subjected to sex discrimination based on the denial of equal pay for equal work. Please contact Steven Murray at 720-600-6642.

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I found Steven at a very stressful time. He has been compassionate, timely, honest & an all around pleasure to work with. His knowledge of employment law is deep and effortless. I am so pleased he is in my corner advocating for me! Thank you, Steven!


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