The state of Washington has enacted legislation (Senate Bill 5671), which amends its Equal Pay and Opportunities Act to add new salary transparency requirements. Senate Bill 5671 takes effect on Jan. 1, 2023.
Washington's equal pay law prohibits employers from retaliating against employees that ask about, compare, disclose, or otherwise discuss their, or another employee's, wages; or ask for a reason for their wages or lack of advancement opportunities.
A job posting is a solicitation (electronic and print) that includes the qualifications for desired job applicants, with the intent to recruit candidates for a specific, available role.
Under the law, employers with 15 or more employees, including those that recruit directly or indirectly through a third party, must provide salary range or wage scale information:
- Upon the request of an employee who is offered a promotion or internal transfer to a new role; and
- In each job posting, along with a general description of all the benefits and other compensation to be offered to the hired individual.
Employers found violating the law may face penalties including actual and statutory damages, civil penalties, costs and attorneys’ fees. The law calculates wages and interest recovery from the first date wages were owed to an employee.
Washington employers should review their job advertisements, hiring policies and practices, and train supervisors to help ensure compliance with Senate Bill 5671.