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Colorado – the 1st State to Pass a Law to Protect Employees & Employment Applicants from Discrimination Arising from the Use of AI

Posted by: Karen Booher on June 16th, 2024

On May 17, 2024, Colorado Governor Polis signed Senate Bill 24-205, or the “CAIA”, making Colorado the first U.S. state to pass a law aimed at protecting, among others, employees and employment applicants from algorithmic discrimination arising from the use of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) system.

“Algorithmic discrimination” means any condition in which the use of an AI system results in differential treatment or impact that disfavors an individual on the basis of protected characteristics (e.g., age, color, ethnicity, disability, national origin, race, religion, veteran status, and sex).

The CAIA imposes a duty of reasonable care on developers (i.e., creators) and deployers (i.e., users) of high-risk AI systems to protect consumers from any known or reasonably foreseeable risks of algorithmic discrimination. Although the law does not exclusively regulate employers, high-risk AI systems include AI systems that make, or are a substantial factor in making, employment-related decisions.

The law provides a narrow exemption for businesses with less than fifty employees that do not use their own data to train the AI system. It will impose obligations on Colorado employers, including affirmative reporting requirements.

CAIA Goes Into Effect February 1, 2026

The bill was modeled after a bill in Connecticut, but a day after a veto threat essentially killed the Connecticut proposal, lawmakers quickly approved the Colorado bill on the last day of session.

Despite signing the bill into law, Polis – a former tech entrepreneur himself – released a signing statement expressing his reservations with the CAIA and encouraging the legislature to improve upon the law before it takes effect on February 1, 2026. This timing does give stakeholders and lawmakers two legislative sessions to make significant changes to the law as it is currently written.

Since the passing of the Colorado bill, similar bills have been proposed in at least six other states as well as at the federal level. Going forward, Colorado employers should continue monitoring for guidance on or amendments to the CAIA, as well as start preparing for compliance.


  1. https://www.multistate.us/insider/2024/5/24/colorados-new-ai-law-takes-a-different-approach-targeting-ai-developers
  2. https://natlawreview.com/article/could-artificial-intelligence-create-real-liability-employers-colorado-just-passed
  3. https://natlawreview.com/article/artificial-intelligence-ai-employment-discrimination-laws-proposed-six-states-what?utm_campaign=2024-6-13NLRLabor+and+Employment+Legal+News&utm_content=8a04ad88c95992e316a76015ee103dfd&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Robly.com

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