Overview: Washington has enhanced its pay equity protections. One year after enacting the 2018 Equal Pay and Opportunity Act, which included an array of pay equity provisions, the legislature passed HB 1696, which restricts pay history inquires and enhances pay transparency requirements. The amendments take effect July 28, 2019.
Washington will be the eighth state to ban all public and private employers from (1) seeking the wage or salary history from an applicant or the applicant’s current or former employer; or (2) relying on prior wage or salary history to set pay.
HB 1696 also includes a requirement that after an employment offer has been made, employers (with at least fifteen employees), upon request, provide the minimum wage or salary for the applicant’s new position. Additionally, if requested, employers must provide wage scale or salary ranges for internally transferred employees.
Finally, when no wage or salary range exists, employers must provide the minimum wage or salary expectation prior to posting the position, making the position transfer, or making the promotion.
Action Required: Employers, if they have not already done so, should consider removing salary history questions from employment application materials and train all recruiters to comply with state and local bans regarding salary history.
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* Produced in Partnership with Jackson Lewis, P.C.
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