back to article Help wanted, work from anywhere ... except if you're located in Colorado

DigitalOcean is looking to hire a front-end software engineer who, if working remotely, is free to live anywhere in America, Canada, Germany, or Netherlands, but not in Colorado. The US state in 2019 approved the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act and then formulated rules to apply the law [PDF], which went into effect on January 1 …

  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Ah, the good old days...

    ...when job adverts, by default, included the salary range offered.

    When did it stop? I've not been on the job market for many years.

    1. ilovecookiez

      Re: Ah, the good old days...

      When people started taking jobs without salaries in the adverts.

      1. Falmari Silver badge

        Re: Ah, the good old days...

        My first 3 jobs I got as a programmer I did not know the salary range. The first one I was told in the interview. The other two I was asked what sort of salary I was looking for; I suppose salary was negotiable.

        Boy did I get the salary wrong in the third one. They offered more than I asked for and 18 months and a 4th pay rise later my salary had increased by 75%. Commercial sector pays a lot more than scientific research.

        Nowadays I would want to know the salary range before applying, but when you are starting out at the bottom everything is up.

    2. Imhotep Silver badge

      Re: Ah, the good old days...

      Probably when the job postings began targeting applicants in different countries/states with widely different costs of living and wage averages.

      1. NATTtrash

        Re: Ah, the good old days...

        That is a very valid point indeed.

        "DigitalOcean is looking to hire a front-end software engineer who, if working remotely, is free to live anywhere in America, Canada, Germany, or Netherlands, but not in Colorado."

        Having worked in a number of different countries myself, it is kind of naive to assume that salaries, and the corresponding taxes, social contributions, QoL are similar to where you are.

        Or that your legislation (should) stretch over your patch of land. Although that last one would not be a first...

        1. tfewster Silver badge
          Joke

          Top Tip

          If you live in Colorado, rent a Post Office box in NYC so you can tell recruiters you're "in" NYC.

          There's nothing to stop you from "moving" to Colorado later ;-)

          Last time I was asked how much I was looking for, I gave them the figure for the average for the role in London, about 25% more than for the equivalent role in my area.

          They agreed without question. In retrospect, as they also had equivalent roles in the US, I should have asked for the average for the role in the US as a starting point for negotiation!

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Top Tip

            "If you live in Colorado, rent a Post Office box in NYC so you can tell recruiters you're "in" NYC."

            I know you are joking, but that could open a whole world of hurt when it comes to payroll and paying taxes, possibly leading to State or Federal charges and maybe, if "they" are really feeling aggressive, wire fraud and/or money laundering charges :-)

            1. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

              Re: Top Tip

              While true, in NYC you would pay far more taxes than in CO.

              1. rcxb Silver badge

                Re: Top Tip

                State income tax is fairly insignificant next to federal income taxes (and related federal withholdings).

                A quick lookup seems to show New York state income tax rate at 5.99%, while Colorado is 4.63%. Not a huge difference. Worth paying if you can negotiate a 2% higher salary out of it (higher cost of living area).

                Plus you could move shortly after getting the job. You'd probably have to pay income taxes in both states for the period that you are faking your mailing address, to ensure neither state can arrest you for tax fraud... They NEVER object to getting MORE in taxes than they're owed.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Ah, the good old days...

          "Having worked in a number of different countries myself, it is kind of naive to assume that salaries, and the corresponding taxes, social contributions, QoL are similar to where you are."

          So, if the job is worth $50K to a new hire in SillyCon Valley and the new hire can work from home full time and chooses to go live in Povertystan after getting the job where the $50K makes him/her more or less a millionaire, should the salary then change to reflect to local conditions of the new residence?

          It's a pretty complicated situation when you start hiring across the world for jobs being done remotely.

          1. Imhotep Silver badge

            Re: Ah, the good old days...

            And I think the subject is coming up as people move out of the expensive Silicon Valley to work remotely from places with a cheaper cost of living.

            In economics they taught us that prices rise freely but are 'sticky' coming down. I'm sure - or maybe just hope - that applies to labor also.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Ah, the good old days...

          "it is kind of naive to assume that salaries, and the corresponding taxes, social contributions, QoL are similar to where you are."

          OTOH it's naive to assume that if a job can be performed remotely the value to the employer would depend on where the employee lives.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ah, the good old days...

            What does it cost to live where you live(your city/county/state/country)? If its higher than the cost to live where I live, then why should I be paid the same as you, for the same job (everything else being equal)? The answer is: I shouldn't. Now, if you and I were neighbors who went to the same schools, passed the same classes, graduated at similar rank, and both applied for the same position, I most certainly would expect for both of us to be offered the same starting salary, if accepted for identical positions. What I don't understand is why anyone would think that length-of-service should have any bearing on salary, i.e. if two employees, hired at the same time for the same job classification, are evaluated yearly, unless they have exactly the same yearly ratings, there's no reason on earth they should still be paid the same after 5 years. If your job peformance is bettter than mine, by any margin, then I should be paid less.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Ah, the good old days...

              >If its higher than the cost to live where I live, then why should I be paid the same as you

              Do you charge your customers different rates based on their state's cost of living?

              1. KSM-AZ

                Re: Ah, the good old days...

                Yes, we do this all the time. It is a ridiculous argument. Value is perceived not absolute. If the shirts REALLY splatter on the fan, gold becomes useless, I can't eat it and it doesn't protect my family. A couple of rifles and ammo become gold. In a place like Texas with plenty of resource, you will be able to get one. Some place where it's "Not So Much available" prepare to pay handsomely.

                If you are tourist'ing at say, oh I dunno Disney . . . What did that Hot Dog cost again? $20. You can't get away with the same price of stuff in Kernersville, NC as you can in San Francisco, CA.

                But we can fix this. Just pass a federal law, make everyone toe the line, create a pricing commission and force everyone to charge whatever the "federal" price is. Works out real well, I mean you can cite example after example if how well this has worked in country and state after country and state. No Really! (Post A Picture of David Leisure)!

                Actually New Jersey has/(had?) a law that the price of food at the airport cannot exceed it's costs at the same restaurant outside the airport. Interesting, but possibly a useful exception since the same government has forced people to sit in the airport and make it difficult to bring in your own food and drink.

                Something to think about.

                1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

                  Re: Ah, the good old days...

                  > Actually New Jersey has/(had?) a law that the price of food at the airport cannot exceed it's costs at the > same restaurant outside the airport.

                  I hope they also have a law that the rents charged for floorspace at the airport cannot exceed the rent for a similar establishment outside the airport.

                  High rents - charged because the sellers have a captive market - are the usual reason for high prices.

                  1. tubedogg

                    Re: Ah, the good old days...

                    Right and I'm sure there's nothing to do with the fact that the restaurants have a captive audience, too, and so can mostly charge whatever they want for their products. It's not just because of rent.

                    1. Anonymous Coward
                      Anonymous Coward

                      Re: Ah, the good old days...

                      In Soviet Belarus, restaurants eat you.

              2. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

                Re: Ah, the good old days...

                >Do you charge your customers different rates based on their state's cost of living?

                Absolutely, In the US different states have different sales taxes. Around the globe hardware and software licences are routinely changed at rates that reflect salary rather than simply manufacture + shipping.

                Setup a couple of steam accounts, one in USA, one in India, one in USSR and then look at the price of games. Look at how many sites there are which offer cheap MS Office licences. The reason they are cheap is because they have licence restrictions saying they are only for use in specific countries.

                Go all the way back to DVD's which had region locks. The region locks weren't there just to control when a country got a movie, it also fed into pricing calculations.

          2. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

            Re: Ah, the good old days...

            But it does. We have employees all over the world. even in the US if a project manager moves to CA for a project they get paid more due to the higher cost of living. Of they then move to, day North Carolina the compensation is adjusted accordingly.

            FYO: In this case I'm talking about Construction PMs.

            A remote worker in Florida, (no state income tax) will probably take a job at a lesser salary that a remote worker in NYC (State AND city income tax).

            As some one who works for a British multi-national construction company I once was asked if I would be interested in taking a position in London. I declined. Why? Cost of living was quite high and salaries were below what I was making in the US. (I was surprised at the level of salaries in the UK. This was 2005 BTW)

    3. DS999 Silver badge

      They want you to ask for a salary

      That way if you ask for less than they were prepared to pay, they save money.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: They want you to ask for a salary

        >That way if you ask for less than they were prepared to pay, they save money.

        And in 6months when you discover you are being paid less than your workmates you leave.

        They have just finished the costs of on-boarding (*sorry) and training you but before they have got much value and now they have to start the recruitment process all over again - but they did save 5% on your salary

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: They want you to ask for a salary

          Only if you are confident you can make more elsewhere. The kind of people who will lowball the salary they ask for due to lack of confidence in their own value probably aren't the kind of people who will up and quit after six months when they find they are getting paid less.

    4. cornetman Silver badge

      Re: Ah, the good old days...

      I came here to say the same.

      Since I have worked at the same place for quite a long time I hadn't realised that that had changed. Surely, good pay would be something that you would want to make a song and dance about in your ad, unless it was rather something to be ashamed of.

  2. Giles C Silver badge

    I want to know the salary rang

    Not that I live in Colorado but when I am searching for a job I want to know the salary range.

    Otherwise you can end up applying for a job which you can’t afford to live on the money you would earn.

    I once applied for a job with Deloitte and after 3 interviews they still wouldn’t tell me the salary, or the working location, or anything really about the job. I gave up at this point especially after a call about why did you apply for this role, when I said I wanted a job they couldn’t understand that I wasn’t excited about joining the company family but wanted to just earn money.

    The only reason I can thing of a reluctance to do this is it means the companies will have to pay the same range if you live in a cheap part of the world as in an expensive part.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: I want to know the salary range

      I'm always amused by job adverts that list the skills and experience required and then say "salary according to skills and experience".

      Recruitment is an expensive process and it wastes everyone's time if it's not clear what's on offer from the start. If potential employers are treating it like a game, it should be a warning sign to prospective staff.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: I want to know the salary range

        Correction, it wastes the applicants' time. The people screening CVs are low paid drones, the people doing the interviews are happy to handle a bit of extra bullshit for the money they'll save.

        1. Imhotep Silver badge

          Re: I want to know the salary range

          Sometimes the people screening CVs aren't even people - especially for the first go around where the actual goal isn't to find a good match, but to throw out enough to get down to a reasonable number.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: I want to know the salary range

          >The people screening CVs are low paid drones, the people doing the interviews are happy to handle a bit of extra bullshit for the money they'll save.

          I would humbly beg your fscking pardon.

          You have 4-5 engineers spend 30mins going over their CV and github/projects

          Then at least 2 x hour long interviews/presentations to 4-5 engineers, longer with an on-site tour

          Repeat for 3-4 pre-screened candidates.

          Then a month later you find they turned down the job because somebody in a corporate HQ was trying to save $2K in salary or wouldn't agree to a certain start date or was limiting relocation expenses to $500

    2. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: I want to know the salary rang

      The only reason I can thing of a reluctance to do this is it means the companies will have to pay the same range if you live in a cheap part of the world as in an expensive part.

      Does it though? Some jobs in this neck of the woods will have - for example - a "London weighting" if you are required to be present within London. So the advert gives a pay range and notes that the range is or is not subject to London weighting. In other words, the "work" is worth between £x and £y but the inconvenience of living near London means that many people will not apply, so you offer them an additional amount that workers at your outpost in Carlisle aren't eligible for. It's all upfront. Where's the problem?

      In the case of a job which can be done remotely, does it matter if two people doing the same job choose to live in areas with different costs of living? Chances are the higher cost of living place has other compensations - such as being within easy public transport reach of "the office" for those face-to-face meetings while the cheaper location might need a lengthy rail or air trip.

      I suppose it depends on whether you subscribe to the notion that a particular job has a particular value (so everyone should be paid near enough the same), or whether you believe that most of the value is in the individual who does that job (so you pay more to get "star" employees).

      I realise things are very different in the US with their vast distances than in the UK where it's possible to get from any one part to any other part - probably by public transport - within a day, but if the point of the legislation is to prevent (say) female employee "a" from meeting (say) male employee "b" and realising that "b" gets 15% more pay than "a" does for exactly the same work with the only obvious difference being gender, can it be anything but a Good Thing? Experience or a proven track record can be rewarded by including wording such as "appointees will normally be employed at the lower end of this range" and then allowing a lift if experience or track record warrants.

      M.

      1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Re: I want to know the salary rang

        If the job is worth 50K, or rather, the combination of the job plus me is worh 50K, why would they pay me say 65K in London and 50K in Newcastle? I provide the same value to the company, this makes no sense.

        Of course, if I am based on London, I could decide to go somewhere else.. but...

        1. Donn Bly

          Re: I want to know the salary rang

          You have made the faulty assumption that you are paid, or should be paid, according to your worth to the company.

          Lets turn this around and you are doing the hiring, looking for someone to do work for you (paint your house, fix your driveway, whatever). You put together the requirements and you have a general idea what you are willing to pay, but you don't necessarily tell the prospective bidders what that amount would be.

          You may interview multiple people or companies, and receive several bids. In the end, you accept the lowest bid that covers all of your requirements, or you adjust your requirements in order to get something that falls within your budget.

          Nobody thinks that doing this is "unfair", they see it as getting the best value for the money and not overpaying -- yet somehow when those roles are reversed they complain.

          The reality is that the job is only worth what the lowest bidder is willing to take. It is the same process whether you are the job applicant, the company hiring for a new position, or the company selling its services to another.

          1. Tomato42

            Re: I want to know the salary rang

            Sure, performing work in middle of London or on the South Pole will be more expensive when you have to physically be in those places. When the work is remote, the work or its value doesn't change depending on where it's physically done.

      2. veti Silver badge

        Re: I want to know the salary rang

        "London weighting" - now there's a phrase I haven't seen since last century. I'm guessing some banks and maybe the civil service still do it?

    3. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

      Re: I want to know the salary rang

      Yeah they really sound like a bunch of douchebags; I've seen a bit of that first hand, and read about plenty of it. Both the jerking you along that long without any hint of where the job is or what it pays; and that whole "ego trip" that (mainly larger) companies have of thinking you're applying because you're EVER SO EXCITED to work at their company, as opposed to "I work to get paid" or even "I am interested in this line of work".

    4. eldakka Silver badge

      Re: I want to know the salary rang

      > The only reason I can thing of a reluctance to do this is it means the companies will have to pay the same range if you live in a cheap part of the world as in an expensive part.

      Not being particularly familiar with the intricacies of labour law, but I wouldn't think it'd be illegal to have in an ad providing different pay ranges for people from different areas, at least on an international scale "SGD50k-60k in Singapore, EU30k-35k for EU-based work, GBP10k-15k, USD35k-40k ... etc." ?

      It might be unwieldy to put all that in an ad though if it was targeted really widely, but if that was the case one could always provide a link in the ad to a page that listed the various location-based pay rates.

  3. ecofeco Silver badge

    First thing I have to always ask

    When replying to job ads, the first thing I ask is detailed job description and salary.

    I no longer do the eager beaver to work but coy about pay, dance. Cut to the chase. How much?

    It saves everyone time.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: First thing I have to always ask

      "Why do you want this job?"

      "Because I've got a bloody mortgage and a family to feed. Why do you want your job? And incidentally, how much are my skills worth to you?"

      It's an interesting concept that ones' skills might have a different value *to the same company* depending on where one lives. Particularly where remote working is involved, and the actual location is a matter of complete indifference to a company... unless the bean counters think they might save a few beans. But being told your job is worth less because you happen to live in a particular location is incredibly insulting.

      1. TimMaher Silver badge
        Unhappy

        “Incredibly insulting “

        Spot on @neil.

        Hopefully, with the apparently permanent adoption of WFH by some folk, this particular screwing of the poorer workers will be reduced.

        Not holding my breath though.

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      Re: First thing I have to always ask

      I've always found this tiptoeing around money to be incredibly annoying and stupid.

      It's a job interview, not a salon chitchat. There's what I'm supposed to do, and what I get for it. It may be treated as a secret outside the room, but it bloody well isn't inside.

      1. Janne Smith

        Re: First thing I have to always ask

        The UK and US need the system they use in much of Scandinavia, where people's taxable income is part of the public record. It encourages transparency on possible salary differences based on gender, etc.

    3. Imhotep Silver badge

      Re: First thing I have to always ask

      I never did understand the reluctance of applicants to bring this up.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: First thing I have to always ask

        >I never did understand the reluctance of applicants to bring this up

        Because conventionally whoever says a number first loses.

        The applicant asks for X, the manager sighs inwardly because they have a budget of X+20%.

        The manager says, we only have x-20% in the budget and hopes the candidate is desperate. Worst case the manager promises to ask bi.g boss if they can stretch to X-5%

        Double the margins if the applicant is a women or a minority

  4. Inventor of the Marmite Laser

    As a global company that hires across all 50 states and in multiple countries, we decided to put a short pause on posting jobs in Colorado as we assessed the how we could get round the new law and pay some people a shed load less than others.

    TFTFY

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      And runs an astroturfing campaign where 1000s of Colorado voters suddenly pop up on Facebook saying how they can't get a job anymore because of this crazy new law.

  5. jason_derp Bronze badge

    My confusion knows no ceiling

    "Legal experts anticipated that the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act would prompt employers to find workarounds to avoid complying with the law."

    Now why would that be the case?!

    1. Falmari Silver badge

      Re: My confusion knows no ceiling

      “avoid complying with the law.” But they are complying with the law well the law of the other 49 states. Colorado law does not apply outside Colorado so there is no law to avoid. I know just semantics. ;)

      Seems to me enacting an employment law that no other state has, has just locked their citizens out of some jobs. Will putting a salary range stop discrimination? They can still discriminate within the range, the bigger the range the bigger the discrimination possible.

      To stop discrimination, they would have to compare actual wages and if there are differences prove it is down to discrimination. Not always that easy, I know where I work we are all on different wages, it is a bit of an individual negotiation process performance related etc etc.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: My confusion knows no ceiling

        Seems to me that excluding applicants based on residency in a particular state is probably illegal in many places. There are anti-boycott laws, there's a constitutional expectation of equal treatment...

        This has got to be headed for the USSC pretty soon.

        1. Imhotep Silver badge

          Re: My confusion knows no ceiling

          I doubt the Supreme Court would hear it. There is no constitutional protection that I know of based on location.

          1. Falmari Silver badge

            Re: My confusion knows no ceiling

            @Imhotep I agree. Did not some online companies decide not to accept sales from a part of the States NY I think due to changes in how sales tax was to be collected.

          2. veti Silver badge

            Re: My confusion knows no ceiling

            My favourite amendment, the 16th, says states may not "deny to any person within their jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws".

            By reverse incorporation, the same principle applies to the federal government.

            So if there is any basis for bringing a suit in a federal court, it follows that anyone in the USA can bring that suit, and to deny them on the basis of their address would be unconstitutional.

            All you need to do is identify a federal law that might be violated by refusing to consider your application. (You don't have to prove that it has been violated, you only need enough plausibility to issue the writ.) I would imagine various anti-discrimination statutes, such as the ADA, could sserve the purpose.

            1. VirtualizationGuy

              Re: My confusion knows no ceiling

              For any company that has a presence in the United States, refusing to do business in a region or a state could easily fail a test of Interstate Commerce laws.

    2. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

      Re: My confusion knows no ceiling

      >Now why would that be the case?!

      1) They may not want existing employees realizing how much they are under paid for their skill set.

      2) Other countries or states my have conflicting laws. Compulsory in one place, a privacy violation in another. I'm sure Google would like to harvest your salary range to help with targeting ads and content.

    3. Ken G
      Childcatcher

      Re: My confusion knows no ceiling

      Because "legal experts" are advertising that they will take money to provide workarounds to avoid complying with the law.

  6. edris90

    How can you know whether or not the job you are applying for will suit your needs if the compensation is not advertised?

    That's a lot of wasted overhead if you account for everybody's wasted efforts due to lack of published information.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has it come to this?

    As a world renowned specialist, I can no longer find situations vacant in my field in Colorado.

    Mr C Beetle

    Colorado

  8. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Bad Execution of Good Intentions

    Since many jurisdictions do not require posting the salary range for a position this puts CO residents at a disadvantage. The idea of requiring the salary range is on paper a good idea, it gives idea of the skills required and seniority level. But if other jurisdictions do not require informing prospects the salary range companies will often opt not to put this information out.

    What CO failed to realize is there may be some reasonable commercial reasons for not posting a salary range as it might tip off competitors of what the business is planning or doing.

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: Bad Execution of Good Intentions

      it might tip off competitors of what the business is planning or doing.

      If a company is recruiting (perhaps heavily) in a particular field, how does not posting the salary range keep that information from competitors? The only little additional bit of information it might give is whether or not the company is desperate for those skills and therefore paying over the going rate, but surely the simple act of posting the job advert is a much more important bit of information?

      M.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bad Execution of Good Intentions

        It doesn't. The primary if not sole reason for not wanting to post the pay they are offering is the obvious one that everyone knows: by doing this, they encourage applicants to lowball themselves so the employer can save money. This is then paired with a policy in the employee handbook that forbids employees from disclosing their pay rates to one another (often unenforceable, but it's usually enough to discourage people who've already been raised in a culture that considers such matters inappropriate for polite company). The net result is modest economic savings and an environment in which pay depends primarily on ability to negotiate rather than do whatever the actual work is; if and when their colleagues learn of this -- usually happens -- there is acrimony and an unpleasant work environment for all. Often the people being paid less feel disrespected and leave the company, which is a loss for everyone if they're doing good work.

        Compensation confidentiality is silly at best and corrosive at worst. Just say no. If $employer doesn't want to hire Coloradans so they can avoid disclosing the comp on offer, Coloradans should be thankful to have that spam weeded out of their search. In the meantime, employers need to get their heads around the idea that employment is a business arrangement, not a secret society. Post what you're willing to pay and hire the best applicants willing to work for that. If the applicant pool doesn't include anyone you want to hire, you may have to offer more. It's not rocket science, even when the work is.

    2. Aitor 1 Silver badge

      Re: Bad Execution of Good Intentions

      I agree with you, but I also think that this should be regulated at federal level, as it is just mnaking the market work better.

      A market without information gives advantage to those that have the information (the big companies), so a free market can only work if salaries are known.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bad Execution of Good Intentions

        The federal government in the United States is constitutionally forbidden to do such a thing. I know it's strange to most people who are accustomed to systems of law and politics that work differently, but the states actually have nearly all the legal authority to regulate commerce within their borders, and nearly everything else besides that isn't a matter of either a military or import/export nature. The federal government *could* regulate someone working in state A for an employer in state B, but in practice the way remote employment nearly always works (very much to the employee's benefit, for tax reasons) is that the employer spins up a subsidiary in each state where employees work. The contract is then an intrastate matter, subject to regulation by (and only by) that state.

        The system is working the way it's supposed to. The people of Colorado have decided, through their democratically elected legislature, that they want people hiring in their state to do things a particular way. The people of other states haven't done that. The result is that the people of each state get what they want, even if they don't all want the same thing. If, as a result, some people choose to do more, or less, business in Colorado, that is a matter for the people of Colorado to consider -- and they may need to consider both the positive and negative aspects of it! A one size fits none fiat from DC makes business more convenient for giant corporations who want to do business everywhere under a single set of rules and have only a single legislature to lobby, while giving the finger to the people (the "demo" in democracy, btw) who don't want things that way, and smaller competitors who don't care as much about having to follow different laws in different places because they limit their business to a small number of jurisdictions. No one loves the "federalise all the things!" argument more than the Oracles and PepsiCos of the world, which is hilarious because the push for it usually comes from the hard-left.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Toxic cultures lead to

    Toxic companies

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Toxic cultures lead to

      So you are recommending the practice for companies in the petrochemical business?

  10. chivo243 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    cross that location off my list

    Colorado was one of my points of interest should I have to move back to the USSA... I have many friends there, and a few relatives, shame really. My family loves vacationing and visiting relatives there and camping in the mountains. Looks like the south of France has moved up a notch on the list...

  11. xyz123

    You have to put a "salary range" so use boilerplate: "this vacancy pays somewhere between $0 and $infinity dollars"

    thats a range. Fully legally compliant.

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      FAIL

      > You have to put a "salary range" so use boilerplate: "this vacancy pays somewhere between $0 and $infinity dollars"

      While compliant, I'm not seeing any positives for the recruiting company for playing silly games, very unprofessional. In the interview I'd ask what qualifies me for say, a monthly million dollar salary in the advertised position. The interviewer can't give a proper answer of course and will either crack a joke or is astonished that someone dares to ask for the >$0 salary.

      Companies with shady advertising habits are probably toxic anyway.

  12. K

    Be aware of those who don't share!

    Years ago when I got made rendundant and ended up moving to London, I quickly learnt

    1) When recruiters says salary is not set yet, it means the company has not set aside budget - there is no position, they are using you to reaserch the market, so walk away.

    2) When you are told, salary is "flexible", it means they are offering below market rate, so walk away.

    3) When companies do play games like this, it often originates from their "culture", i.e. if they are shitty to potential recruits, they will be shitty to those working there..

    I only have 1 rule when talking with a company - An interview is a 2 way street, I'm also evaluating them.. so they best be prepared to disclose projects, salaries and benefits on the first call.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Be aware of those who don't share!

      "I only have 1 rule when talking with a company - An interview is a 2 way street, I'm also evaluating them.. so they best be prepared to disclose projects, salaries and benefits on the first call."

      I have to disagree here. Yes, an interview is a two-way process. No, it's not the time to discuss compensation. That should have been disclosed up front, before you spent your time applying for the position and before the employer spent time evaluating your application. The people who are interviewing you are (one hopes) valuable employees whose time is not to be wasted talking with a candidate who's not going to take the job because it doesn't pay enough. Similarly, a decent employer respects applicants' time by making it clear up front and in advance what the comp plan looks like; if you don't like it, don't apply.

      Like any multistep process, the post-apply-evaluate-interview-hire chain should be constructed in such a way that each successive step allows the participants to learn things they couldn't have learned otherwise. The candidate and interviewers can learn things in the 2-way interview that can't easily be learned from an advertisement or an application; that's not true of the pay rate.

    2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Be aware of those who don't share!

      An interview is a 2 way street, I'm also evaluating them.. so they best be prepared to disclose projects, salaries and benefits on the first call.

      True, I once had the pleasure of terminating an interview by telling the [CENSORED] that they were insulting me and wasting my time. Just for the look on their faces it was worth showing up for the interview. A couple of months later I received a call from another recruiter of that company and I told him I was surprised that company had the guts to call me after the way I was insulted the last time. He didn't know anything about the incident, so I gave him every detail of the previous interview, including date, time and names. Turned out they had been so embarrassed, they had deleted everything about me from their system.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Be aware of those who don't share!

        Had an interview with a now defunct Cambridge consultancy who deleted my PhD from my CV before the interview because they didn't think they had the budget for a salary offer

        Like they thought a Cambridge physics PhD wouldn't come up in an interview for a technical consultancy in Cambridge, or that I would happily accept a lower graduate salary without noticing !

    3. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

      Re: Be aware of those who don't share!

      I've been both a worker and a recruiter. I'm rather bemused by many of the comments on this thread. Yonks ago as a worker generally a salary range was posted. I consider that this changed because applicants for jobs (or their "helping" recruiter) below board level became more comfortable and willing to negotiate salaries outside the posted range (usually more). However, at least up to my retiring a few years ago employers were wanting salary details of applicants.

      The credit crunch did change things a bit and many companies "picked up bargains" where people wanting to keep their home were willing to take a major salary drop.

      Recruiters are in it for the money (trust me there's nothing else to make you want to stay in the business) so they are unlikely to put candidates forward if they don't think there's a good chance of a) the job being offered and b) an offer being accepted.

    4. Justthefacts

      Re: Be aware of those who don't share!

      No, it doesn’t mean anything like that.

      The real problem is the combination of three uncomfortable facts:

      #1: In complex jobs, one person is often two or three times as productive as another. Or more. Even when they are doing “the same” job, with the same level of experience.

      #2: Those people are fairly rare. But due to Dunning Kruger, most people think they are in the top group.

      #3: Companies need the excellent ones, but only a few of them. In fact, companies need 90% of their employees to be about average people. Who all need to be given an above-average salary, with career progression, to make them feel happy and in fact productive.

      None of this comes as a surprise to anybody. The secret salary system is an attempt to square the circle, and IMHO not a bad one.

    5. fredesmite2

      Re: Be aware of those who don't share!

      Rule #1 in fight club

      If a recruiter doesn't tell you the salary or claim they don't know .. they are lying because that is how they make their commission.

      HANG UP.

      They are fishing for the lowest bidder.

      I really can't think of a lower life from than a recruiter. It's likely the only job they could get.

      ..

  13. KarMann
    FAIL

    Dilemma

    "The fact that so many companies are choosing not to hire in the State of Colorado demonstrates how burdensome these regulations really are," [Harpole] said.
    Or, it could demonstrate what a bunch of whingy crybabies the companies are. Could go either way, why assume it's how burdensome the regulations?

  14. kingflathead

    Thank you

    Coloradan here. I could care less about these bastards and their jobs. Thanks for letting me know that you’re trying to stiff us ahead of time!

    Companies that use geo adjustments for remote work are scum. Not that it’s cheap to live here, even, but if you are willing to pay me X dollars for remote work, I should be free to choose a place with lower cost of living within a time zone or two without my employer wanting to claw my salary back.

    One and/or two finger salute depending on your geo, take your pick.

  15. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    *woosh* right over their heads

    "If large employers are refusing to comply, they risk being seen as refusing to address racial and gender equity," (plus quote from Coloardo senator): "Just recently, this has come to my attention," she said. "Women here are outraged because this bill was something they worked for years and years and the pay transparency piece was a huge part of that."

    *woosh* right over their heads!

    It didn't even occur to me this would be some racial/gender equality thing... since it's not. It's a matter of some of these places not wanting to pay the Silicon Valley payscale for someone that is living in Idaho (.. which may not be fair either, if someone remote works from somewhere inexpensive perhaps they should get the same pay and get to pocket that money... but you also have places in UK that pay London pay bumps and so on.) Plus, for whatever reason, it's simply common for firms to not even hint at what their payscale is, they think it's some kind of negotiating tactic.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: *woosh* right over their heads

      Not advertising a salary is very much a women/minority thing.

      If it's a "negotiation" where the employer holds all the cards then Chuck Winchester IIIrd, having more options, is likely to be more able to push for a salary.

      A women or minority candidate is less likely to get a job offer and so is less able to push for a higher, or refuse a lower salary offer.

      And this is even assuming no bias on the part of the hiring manager

  16. man_iii

    Ahh shady company inc.

    I memba when long time ago i attended a small software dev team near me. Oracle shop and I was a middleware and linux dude.

    I applied for the SysAdmin role and they ended up quizzing me from Soft.Dev to architecture design testing systems managing datacenters and a lot of techie stuff i always end up reading and looking at it at work.

    Team had a toxic environment and couldnt figure out what role to "exploit" me for .... I was quick to get a better employer, offer and moving on.

  17. Irony Deficient Bronze badge

    Danielson said there are questions about whether it’s legal to carve out an entire state

    There is no lack of remote IT jobs in the States where employers only seek workers in some subset of state/district/territorial jurisdictions. My impression was that employers do this to avoid establishing a taxation nexus in a jurisdiction where they currently have none, since hiring the first employee in a new jurisdiction would require the employer to start filing corporate income tax returns, labor reports, &c. in that jurisdiction. (This tends to hurt remote work prospects for people who live in jurisdictions with low populations.)

  18. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    Poorly thought out law?

    It seems to me that a job ad for a shop assistant in Denver can reasonably be required to include a salary range - it's a local service.

    Advertising for a remote Javascript programmer for a global company seems a totally different kettle of fish. I can imagine a company willing to hire someone in Colorado or in Maharashtra, without discrimination, if opportunity arises. While the company may be perfectly willing to pay what will make a programmer in Pune very happy there may be lots of reasons why paying - or even advertising - a high end Denver salary in Pune may not be such a good idea. At the same time, paying a good salary to somebody in Denver may be comparatively beneficial, too (possible benefits: easier communication, closer timezone, a lot less hassle when face-to-face is required, etc., etc., even caeteris paribus). So the hiring side will weigh a specific Mrs. A. in Denver at $X/yr against a specific Mr. B in Pune at $Y/yr, assuming both get shortlisted. And they cannot know in advance where the applicants will apply from.

    So the solution seems to be, "In Colorado the applicable range is $X1 to $X2, depending on experience and qualifications". The next step is a long list of ranges in places where it is required, even though there is no a priori intention to hire in those places. You'll need market research for all such markets/jurisdictions, and It'll become unwieldy really fast. Researching reasonable compensation for a couple of shortlisted candidates is probably much easier. It's easier to avoid Colorado in the first place, probably, even as there may be an opportunity cost.

    On the flip side, if there are people somewhere in Colorado who are perfectly willing to compete with Ukraine-based full stack developers rather than waiting on tables locally (or maintaining the local law firm website, as the case may be) I don't know, but I can't exclude the possibility without additional information.

    If the Colorado legislators had the good sense to exempt remote positions it could benefit everyone.

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Poorly thought out law?

      If the Colorado legislators had the good sense to exempt remote positions it could benefit everyone.

      Wow, legislators and good sense in one sentence and without a negation.

    2. Irony Deficient Bronze badge

      Re: Poorly thought out law?

      If the Colorado legislators had the good sense to exempt remote positions it could benefit everyone.

      See Rule 4.3 in the Equal Pay Transparency Rules PDF which was linked to in the article:

      (A) the promotion posting requirements (§ 201(1)) do not apply to employees entirely outside Colorado; and

      (B) the compensation posting requirements (§ 201(2)) do not apply to either (1) jobs to be performed entirely outside Colorado, or (2) postings entirely outside Colorado.

      Perhaps the Colorado legislators did put some thought into what they’d wanted to legislate on, though I wouldn’t argue that this particular rule could benefit everyone.

      1. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

        Re: Poorly thought out law?

        Good, so I don't have to post the salary range in Pune but I do have to in Colorado if the person appointed could come from either location. The person in Pune now assumes the salary on offer is the one in Colorado even though living in Pune. Brilliant.

  19. picturethis
    Childcatcher

    Bottom line: A job/position has a certain worth to a company...

    I learned a long time ago:

    That every position/job within a private/public company where the goal is to be profitable (so, excluding government positions) has a certain value to the company. If the company has any sense of being organized, the value of that position is known.

    This is, for the most part, completely independent of where a potential candidate lives - assuming the basic requirements of remote access, ability to perform, security are met. So to not list a salary range, I call bullshit. It's the oldest game in the world, whoever (you or the employer) gives a range first, loses. This is the same tactic used by car salesman.

    But I don't think it's all bad news for the employers, because what they get is a range of applicants that are presumably qualified for the job and have made (or are in a situation) where they can live at the salary specified. The applicant maybe resides in a modest location with a modest lifestyle with a modest pedigree, or not, that's up to the individual - this determines what an individual can accept in terms of compensation. If the employer doesn't get any responses to the range, then perhaps the value of the position is too low, or there isn't anyone available. Either way, the employer needs to re-assess the position's worth, or go without.

    I think the spirit of the law has good intentions, we'll see how companies will react.

    As other commenters have said, it is a two-way street - each is evaluating the other and both have to accept, there is freedom of choice involved.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bottom line: A job/position has a certain worth to a company...

      The value to the company is independent, but this is a two way street. The value to the employee is the other end, and companies will try and find that. Where they intersect there is useful employment, and that is the only way to find out what a fair wage is.

      If you're not familiar, think of house prices. Houses sell for what both parties will accept.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Any very fungible job can just have the salary advertised. Any job that might have a huge range in what an individual can add (e.g. software developer, salesperson with the right relationships, football star, movie star, etc, generally in that order) is going to have a huge upper bound on it.

    In that instance no one's going to pay more than they have to, or they can't afford other stuff, but they will stretch. It's just...silly to assume otherwise. Not every job is like some jobs.

  21. IGotOut Silver badge

    Ahh Digital Ocean...

    The scammer dream company.

    ASN = 14061 BLOCK.

  22. Marty McFly Bronze badge
    Megaphone

    It is not yours!

    Jobs belong to the employer. Not the employee.

    Just like everyone one of us is free to move to a different state, businesses are free to hire employees from different states. States that are business friendly will get the jobs, and the tax revenue that comes with them. States that are unfriendly to business...well go figure.

  23. fredesmite2
    Mushroom

    Rule #1 in fight club

    If a recruiter doesn't tell you the salary ..

    HANG UP.

    They are fishing for the lowest bidder.

    ..

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