WA employers must disclose ‘genuinely expected’ pay next year

Dec 29, 2022, 10:22 AM
Hiring sign...
A state new law requires employers to tell you how much a job pays. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Washington state employers will soon be required to disclose in job listings the expected salary range for applicants.

A new pay transparency law gets enacted in January.

Washington’s Pay Transparency Law (SB 5761) will require employers with 15 or more employees to include the wage scale or a salary range in their job postings, along with “a general description of the benefits and other compensation offered.”

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Employers also must provide existing employees who are promoted or offered a new position with a wage scale or salary range of the new role, the law says.

If employers do not have an expected range, the policy simply suggests creating one, reading, “a scale or range should be created prior to publishing the posting.”

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.

The proposal’s primary sponsor, state Sen. Emily Randall, said the bill is designed 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.

“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.”

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee signed the senate bill into law on March 30.

Currently, only 48% of the job listings on Indeed.com include pay or salary ranges in Washington, according to the job search engine.

In November, the state of New York started requiring pay transparency, along with many other states, including Colorado, which was the first to adopt a salary transparency law. California, Maryland, Nevada, Rhode Island, and Connecticut soon followed suit.

The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries will be in charge of enforcing this new law, and if people see violations of the law, they can submit a form to file a complaint against the violators.

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WA employers must disclose ‘genuinely expected’ pay next year