JESPA Files Complaint With State Department of Labor over Hiring Practices


On February 9, JESPA filed a complaint against the district with the Colorado Division of Labor Standards and Statistics, citing a series of hiring practices that blatantly violate the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act and undermine the integrity of the staffing process within the school district. The district has omitted crucial wage range information in its job postings for non-exempt hourly positions, a direct violation of state law and the collective bargaining agreement, which mandates a hiring range of steps 1-8. This lack of transparency has not only led to new employees being underpaid but can foster an environment where bias and discrimination can thrive.

In the filing, JESPA asserts that the district engaged in deceptive hiring practices by advertising only for substitute, temporary positions where higher-paid permanent positions are available, especially within the transportation department. This misleading strategy denies employees the benefits and paid time off associated with permanent roles, undermining the state law.

The complaint also highlights how the district misrepresents annual wage rates in job postings by not accounting for paid holidays, presenting a deflated view of actual compensation. This practice not only misleads prospective employees but also contributes to the district’s ongoing staffing crisis by diminishing the appeal of these critical positions.

JESPA’s action stems from a series of incidents that have raised safety concerns among ESPs, highlighting the real-world consequences of the district’s staffing shortages. From assaults on bus drivers and school staff to inadequate staff to support students with special needs, the lack of support has placed both staff and students at risk.

“The deceptive and unfair hiring practices of Jeffco Public Schools not only violates Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act but also manufactures their ongoing staffing crisis,” said Zander Kaschub, JESPA President. “Over the past few years, we have repeatedly raised these concerns. Our complaint is a call to action for the state to intervene and for the district to adopt transparent, fair, and equitable hiring practices that respect the rights of all employees and ensure the safety and well-being of our students and staff.”

JESPA calls on Jefferson County Public Schools to immediately comply with the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act and the JESPA Collective Bargaining Agreement. The union is committed to working towards a resolution that ensures we are able to attract and retain Education Support Professionals within the district.

The complaint submitted is as follows:

Jeffco Public Schools has not been posted a wage range in its job postings for non-exempt hourly positions, contrary to the provisions of the law. Despite repeated advisements from JESPA and the stipulations of the JESPA Collective Bargaining Agreement, which specifies a hiring range of steps 1-8, job postings have frequently included inaccurate starting wage information and have omitted the hiring range altogether, only including the starting wage. This practice has led to new employees having to negotiate for fair wages based on experience, only if they are aware there are higher rates of pay, they could potentially be awarded, and if not, they must accept the minimum starting wage, resulting in pay disparities, and fostering bias and discrimination in the hiring process. The lack of wage range transparency in job postings for non-exempt hourly Education Support Professionals directly violates the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act’s requirements aimed at ensuring fair and transparent hiring practices.

The employer has also engaged in deceptive hiring practices by posting job vacancies for substitute positions only, despite the availability of permanent positions. This approach systematically circumvents the provisions of the Colorado Equal Pay for Equal Work Act by hiring employees into roles with a lower starting wage, devoid of a wage range, benefits, and paid time off that would typically be associated with permanent positions which are indeed available. This practice not only lacks transparency but actively undermines the intent of the Act, which mandates equitable pay for substantially similar work and requires employers to disclose compensation and benefits information in job postings. This practice has been used repeatedly in the transportation department in particular.

The employer also posts misleading annual wage rates that fail to account for paid holidays and only account for days worked, leading to a deflated representation of the actual annual compensation.

Reviews of Jeffco’s job board continue to show incorrect postings on Jeffco’s websites not posting permanent positions when there are plenty of positions open. This review took place after a student assaulted a bus driver who had requested a bus assistant on her route many times.


Sub Bus Assistant Pay is $17 per hour, a full $1.40 an hour lower than an available permanent position at starting pay.  Note the misleading annual rate based on full time work for all postings even though Jeffco positions are not a full 8 hours a day.

The district, after repeated warnings, failed to post pay ranges as required by the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act on any hourly/JESPA Bargaining Unit Position.

Independence Support Paraeducators are understaffed for our students who need the most support, and yet we fail to post the hiring range.  This shows pay is $19.13 per hour, even though you can get paid more with experience.

This posting has no pay information at all:

Incorrect Pay Rate on external sites

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