EMPLOYMENT LAW NEWS

Pay Transparency Law in Washington State

By Jana Bjorklund, GovDocs Senior Counsel and Director, Employment Law and Compliance
Published April 6, 2022

Pay Transparency Law in Washington State

Applying to employers with 15 or more workers, Senate Bill 5761, regarding a new pay transparency law in Washington State, was signed into law March 30, 2022.

Pay transparency in Washington State?

Starting Jan. 1, 2023, many employers must disclose the salary range, or wage scale, and a description of all benefits and other compensation in job posting.

Applying to employers with 15 or more workers, Senate Bill 5761 was signed into law March 30, 2022.

Pay Transparency in Washington State

Washington joins New York City and Colorado in requiring employers to include salary information in job postings.

The law in Washington applies to employers that do business in the state with 15 or more employees.

This new law amends Washington’s existing requirements that employers must disclose wage information to applicants only upon their request.

Under the amended law, job postings are not required, but if job postings are used, employers must include the appropriate disclosures, effective Jan. 1, 2023.

A “job posting” is defined as:

“Any solicitation intended to recruit job applicants for a specific available position, including recruitment done directly by an employer or indirectly through a third party, and includes any postings done electronically, or with a printed hard copy, that includes qualification for desired applicants.”

Employers still need to provide salary range or wage scale upon request to employees offered a new position, promotion or internal transfer.

Pay Transparency Laws

Even a casual social media user may have seen a growth in posts in recent years pushing for more companies to include pay ranges with job posts.

And from salary history bans to the pay transparency laws in Colorado, New York City and now Washington, lawmakers are responding.

Applying to employers with four or more workers in the previous year, New York City’s pay transparency law goes into effect May 15, 2022, amending the city’s human rights law. The range for the listed maximum and minimum salary would extend from the lowest salary to the highest salary that the employer in good faith believes it would pay for the advertised job, promotion, or transfer.

Colorado was the first state to require pay ranges to be included in job postings, but a number of other states have passed related laws. However, these laws generally require employers to provide ranges upon request or at the time an offer is made. They include:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Maryland
  • Rhode Island

Still, just this week, a LinkedIn News article discussed large employers in New York pushing back against pay transparency laws, citing labor shortages and diversity goals, and potential issues with current employees. Some companies are asking the city to push back the effective date.

But judging by the popular comments on the article, most industry professionals see a benefit in more transparency in job postings, saying it leads to a better company culture and more of these types of laws will likely be enacted in the future.

Conclusion

Employers with locations in Washington should prepare now for the new pay transparency law going into effect in 2023.

Hiring managers may consider reviewing their internal salary ranges and wage scales, as well as description of all benefits and other compensation, for job postings in the future.

This Employment Law News blog is intended for market awareness only, it is not to be used for legal advice or counsel.

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GovDocs simplifies employment law compliance for large, multi-jurisdiction employers in the U.S. and Canada. The GovDocs software platform integrates three solutions in one convenient place to help you master the employment laws impacting your business. Whether you manage a postings, minimum wage or paid leave program, our products cut through research time, provide proactive insights into the everchanging landscape of employment laws and reduce the risk of noncompliance. The company is headquartered in St. Paul, Minn.

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