Washington Salary Transparency Law Takes Effect

Person's hands typing on laptop keyboard while job searching Washington jobs

Did you know that Washington job seekers could get $5000 thanks to recent updates to Washington salary transparency laws?

Employers must post clear salary information on all Washington job applications under the updated Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act (EPOA). The pay transparency law applies to any employer that does business in Washington with 15+ employees and at least one of those employees is Washington-based. Any employer breaking the law could entitle you to $5000 in damages, as well as attorney’s fees and employer fines.

Every worker deserves a fair wage. Pay transparency builds trust and improves employee morale while also creating a competitive job market for job searchers and current employees. Here’s what you need to know about the updated law.

What Are the Salary Transparency Requirements for Washington State Jobs?

Whether printed or digital, Washington job postings must list a clear salary range or hourly rate. Ranges such as “$50,000-$75,000 per year” or “$16-$20 per hour based on experience” are ok, anything open-ended like “$50,000 per year and up” is not.

Jobs that pay by commission or piece rates must clearly state the rate, i.e., “3-5% commission of net sale price” or “$0.50-$0.75 per pound of produce picked.”

Additionally, any benefits that are part of the compensation package (medical, dental, vision, stock options, etc.) must be listed, however, they don’t have to put a dollar value for those benefits.

One thing to note: if the job posting doesn’t provide a clear salary info but provides a link to learn more about the job, the link must provide salary ranges.

What Happens If the Job Posting Doesn’t List the Salary?

The updated Washington law for salary transparency requirements allows job seekers to sue for damages of $5,000 minimum and attorney’s fees. Employers could also face fines from L&I for breaking the law. Additionally, employers cannot avoid the law by excluding Washington state citizens from the job listing.

What to Do If You Apply for a Washington Job and the Salary Isn’t Posted

If you live in Washington state and applied for a job after January 1, 2023, and the job posting did not list clear salary or pay information, here’s what you should do:

  • Take a screen shot of the job posting
  • Save the job application
  • Save any correspondence with the employer
  • Contact Emery Reddy’s legal team

Sharing Salary History

As part of the updated law, employers can’t ask you for your salary history. They also can’t stop you from talking about your pay at work. If they do, you’re entitled to an additional $5000 in damages, as well as employer fines and attorney’s fees.

Call Emery Reddy

As a top-rated Washington L&I and employment law firm, we help workers. Contact us for a free legal consultation if your workers’ rights have been violated or you’re struggling with an L&I claim. Our legal team will determine if you have a case and help you understand your options. With over twenty years of experience in L&I and employment law, we’ve won millions of dollars for our clients and changed Washington labor laws for the better. Contact us today!

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