Some remote workers would do anything to burn their sweatpants and get back to cubicle life. Aaron Batilo is not one of them. The Denver-based software engineer is the Roger Federer of working from home: He’s gone commute-less for several years now, “way before it was the cool thing to do,” he told me.
The remote-work revolution was supposed to bring Colorado a lot more Aaron Batilos. If you’ve been aching to leave the West Coast, the state can sound like downright paradise: the best hiking you’ll find basically anywhere! An actual home—not some creepy underwater lot—for less than $1 million! And yes, legal weed! There’s just one problem. Squint at the fine print on remote-job listings lately and you might see something like this, for a senior sales manager at Samsung: “This role can be performed remotely anywhere in the United States with the exception of Colorado.” Or like this, for a job at Johnson & Johnson: “Work location is flexible if approved by the Company except that the position may not be performed remotely from Colorado.”
An obscure Colorado labor law that passed in 2019 and went into effect earlier this year requires that all companies in the state include salary details in job postings. The idea is that when would-be employees, especially women and people of color, know how much an employer can offer, they won’t lowball themselves when negotiating their salary. Sounds straightforward enough, but a chunk of companies are doing everything they possibly can to avoid the mandate. When Batilo got wind of what was going on, in late May, he did what any remote-work-loving tech nerd would do: He made a crowdsourced website with all the jobs shutting out Coloradans. Head over to coloradoexcluded.com and you’ll find more than 400 job listings with these Colorado carve-outs—from mega-companies such as Nike, Cigna, and Oracle; nonprofits such as PETA; and … whatever exactly Marsh McLennan is. The site isn’t exhaustive. I went on the job board Indeed and searched for all listings that included the phrase except Colorado. I got 700 hits.
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