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Volume XIII, Number 266


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Colorado’s Job Application Fairness Act Restricts Employers’ Ability to Request Age-Related Information From Applicants

On June 2, 2023, Colorado enacted the Job Application Fairness Act (JAFA), joining California, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania as states prohibiting employers from requesting age-related information during the hiring process. Starting on July 1, 2024, JAFA will bar Colorado employers from requesting or requiring that job applicants provide information related to “age, date of birth, or dates of attendance at or graduation from an educational institution” on initial employment applications.

Quick Hits

  • Effective July 1, 2024, employers are barred from requesting applicants to provide age-related information, but are permitted to ask them to confirm whether they meet certain age restrictions.

  • Penalties include warnings and compliance orders for a first violation, $1,000 for a second violation, and $2,500 for each third and subsequent violation.

While JAFA permits employers to require applicants to provide copies of certifications or transcripts “at the time of an initial employment application,” they must notify applicants that they may redact information identifying age, date of birth, and/or dates of attendance at or graduation from an educational institution. JAFA also allows employers to request that applicants verify compliance with age requirements that are required by (1) “a bona fide occupational qualification pertaining to public or occupational safety,” (2) “a federal law or regulation,” or (3) “a state or local law or regulation based on a bona fide occupational qualification.” Even so, such verification requests may not require disclosure of an individual’s specific age, date of birth, or dates of attendance at or graduation from an educational institution on an initial employment application.

Penalties for violations of JAFA increase with each subsequent violation. For a first violation, an employer may receive a warning and an order requiring compliance within fifteen business days. A second violation carries an order requiring compliance within fifteen business days as well as a civil penalty of up to $1,000, and the civil penalty increases to a maximum of $2,500 for a third and subsequent violation. For purposes of assessing penalties, “each distinct job posting violating [the statute] constitutes a separate violation.”

JAFA adds to the restrictions already placed on the types of information Colorado employers may request from applicants. Since September 1, 2021, Colorado’s Chance to Compete Act, commonly known as “ban the box” legislation, has prevented employers with eleven or more employees from stating in an advertisement for employment that a person with a criminal history may not apply. The Chance to Compete Act, similar to JAFA, further prohibits employers from inquiring into, or requiring disclosure of, an applicant’s criminal history on an initial employment application.

Colorado employers may want to review their job postings and advertisements, as well as employment applications and the corresponding hiring processes, in preparation for ensuring compliance with JAFA come summer 2024. Employers may also want to train employees involved in the hiring and interviewing process concerning JAFA’s restrictions.

© 2023, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XIII, Number 157

About this Author

Michael H. Bell Shareholder Denver, Dallas Traditional Labor Relations, Employment Law, Litigation

Michael (“Mike”) Bell represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law,  focusing his practice on the defense of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation claims, employment-related torts, and civil rights claims under state and federal law.  A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, Mr. Bell obtained his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, in English and History from Appalachian State University.  He received his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he captained the school’s Environmental Negotiation Moot Court team.  Mr. Bell is...


Becca is an associate attorney in the Ogletree Deakins Denver office. Becca defends employers of all sizes in claims brought under federal and state employment laws. Becca also assists clients with various employment issues, including, but not limited to, investigations of complaints, wage and hour issues, workplace health and safety, and personnel policies.

Becca received her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law with a certificate in Workplace Law. While in law school, Becca received the John Phillip Linn Labor Law Award for...

Lys M. Runnerstrom Employment Attorney OgleTreeDeakins

Lys Runnerstrom is an associate attorney in Ogletree Deakins’ Denver office. Lys’ practice includes representing and counseling employers in all aspects of labor and employment law and defending employers at all stages of litigation.

Before joining Ogletree Deakins, Lys served as a Senior Deputy District Attorney in Boulder, Colorado, where she tried more than 60 cases to a jury. Lys handled a variety of high-stakes criminal prosecutions, including murder in the first degree, sexual assault, and first degree assault. Lys was specially selected...