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Washington Bill Requires Employers to Post Wage and Salary Information in all Internal and External Job Listings

2022-06-16

Washington joins a growing number of states and cities requiring pay transparency

Washington Senate Bill 5761, signed on March 30, 2022, requires employers with 15 or more employees to disclose an hourly pay rate, salary, or a range of that compensation, along with a general description of all benefits and other compensation being offered when advertising internal and external job positions.  The legislation defines a job posting as the solicitations the employer uses to recruit new workers, whether through a third-party recruiter, a printed hard copy announcing the opening or posting on a digital job board. Any posting that includes the job qualifications would also need to include the salary information.  

The bill will amend RCW 49.58.110, which currently requires an employer to provide the minimum wage or salary upon offering the applicant a position, if the applicants asks for it.  The legislation also removed the portion of the 2019 amendment stating that if there is no wage or salary scale, employers are required only to give the minimum wage and salary expectation before posting the position or making the internal transfer. 

The bill’s sponsors have stated that “women, people of color and other individuals from historically underrepresented groups are more likely to be missing these pieces to effectively negotiate a higher pay rate.”  Advocates of the legislation hope that the bill will increase the focus on pay equity.

Violations to the new law would result in the recovery of any wages and interest that were owed to employees from the first day of work.  The law goes into effect on January 1, 2023.

Pay transparency to applicants and employees is a growing trend. Many states and cities have legislation requiring employers to provide salary information to external applicants, but only if requested.  Other states require employers to share this information after the first interview or at the time the offer is made.  It is important that you are aware of the requirements in the states in which you do business.

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.