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‘You Can Live Anywhere But Colorado’: Why Many Remote Job Postings Are Now Activ


‘You Can Live Anywhere But Colorado’: Why Many Remote Job Postings Are Now Actively Excluding One State

--- Quote ---The pandemic has undoubtedly hastened the shift to remote work. Many workers and companies have now embraced remote work in previously office-based positions, and this is continuing even as the economy reopens and new jobs are posted. Many new remote positions are being posted advertising that applicants can live anywhere in the US—except Colorado.   

Here’s why.

“A new Colorado law… requires companies with even a few employees in the state to disclose the expected salary or pay range for each open role they advertise, including remote positions,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “The rule’s aim is to narrow gender wage gaps and provide greater pay transparency for employees.”

The result?

“To avoid having to disclose that information... some employers seeking remote workers nationwide are saying that those living in Colorado need not apply,” the Journal notes.
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Many remote job postings exclude Colorado.

--- Quote ---Well, companies say that the Colorado regulations are burdensome and costly to comply with. And publicly posting all salary information not only undercuts employees’ privacy but also could fuel discontent and conflict within the company. Given the fact that they have 49 other options (and more if you count Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, etc.) it’s easier for some companies to just not hire people from the state.

This is certainly not what Colorado state lawmakers intended. They likely had good intentions of promoting transparency and equality, albeit ones based on a statistically dubious premise of the largely fictional sexist “gender pay gap.” But as Nobel-Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman once said, “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” And the result of this regulatory overreach was to take jobs away from Coloradans, not make them more equitable.

Of course, few could have seen this coming when drafting salary transparency regulations. While easy enough to understand in hindsight, it would have taken tremendous foresight to predict that this would specifically lead to remote work positions discriminating against the state. But that’s exactly the problem with the government interfering in the minutiae of economic life. Bureaucrats huddled in some office somewhere can never fully foresee the vast and disparate consequences of their actions—meaning unintended consequences inevitably follow.
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