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Washington House and Senate Pass Bill Banning Pay History Inquiries


Bill includes broad pay transparency requirements for employers with more than 15 employees

A year after Washington State enacted the 2018 Equal Pay and Opportunity Act, it introduced HB 1696 restricting pay history inquiries and enhancing pay transparency requirements.  

HB 1696 bans all private and public employers from (1) seeking wage or salary history information from an applicant or the applicant’s current and former employers; or (2) relying on prior wage or salary history to set pay.
If requested, after an employment offer has been made, all employers with at least 15 employees will be required to provide a minimum wage or salary for the applicant’s new position.   Upon request, employers must also provide a wage scale or salary ranges for internally transferred or promoted employees.   When an employer does not have a formal wage or salary scale, they must provide a minimum wage or salary expectation prior to posting the internal position, making a transfer or a promotion. 

On April 28, 2019, the bill was delivered to Governor Jay Inslee and he is expected to sign the legislation.  To prepare, employers should consider removing salary history questions from employment applications and train recruiters and hiring managers about restrictions on salary history inquiries.

The foregoing has been prepared for the general information of clients and friends of Workplace Dynamics LLC and is not being represented as being all-inclusive or complete. It has been abridged from legislation, administrative ruling, agency directives, and other information provided by the government. It is not meant to provide legal advice with respect to any specific matter and should not be acted upon without professional counsel.