Proposal requiring employers to include salary ranges in job postings nears passage

Mar 7, 2022, 2:00 PM | Updated: Mar 8, 2022, 7:45 am

Salary job postings...

A "help wanted" sign hangs in the window of a business. (Unsplash)


Washington state lawmakers are in the final stages of approving a bill that would require employers to include an estimated salary in all job postings.

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Under Washington’s current laws, employers with 15 or more employees are only required to provide information on a listing’s salary to an applicant after they have been chosen for the position. SB 5761 would instead make it so employers (also with 15 or more employees) must include a job’s salary range with “a general description of the benefits and other compensation offered” when the role is first listed. For internal transfers or promotions, an exact hourly or salary number must be posted rather than a range.

The proposal’s primary sponsor, state Sen. Emily Randall, detailed a goal of the bill to encourage “pay transparency to applicants even before they apply.”

“The bill will make Washington more competitive for job seekers at a time when our employers are struggling to recruit and retain workers who keep our economy moving,” a staff summary of her testimony reads.

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“Many candidates spend hours going through rounds of interviews only to find out they can’t live on the offered pay,” the summary continues. “It is also an equity issue, punishing women and people of color because they get punished for negotiating where white men are rewarded for the same thing.”

Speaking against the bill was a group of organizations representing businesses across Washington that argued that it represents “a burden on small businesses.” They say small businesses would then have to “compete in a bidding war” with larger companies. The group further cited potential confusion over whether salary information would have to be included in posted fliers.

The bill in its basic form was passed by both chambers of the state Legislature, but still needs final approval from the state Senate after the House added an amendment to delay its effective date to Jan. 1, 2023.

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Proposal requiring employers to include salary ranges in job postings nears passage