The pay transparency law in Washington State requires employers to provide the salary range on job listings and advertisements. Most Washington employers now must provide salary fields on job listings, promotions, and recruitment tactics. The law also dictates that employers disclose pay information to any and all workers asking for it. This means employers may no longer withhold the potential salary of a job when they put an ad out.
Employers must provide payment information as listed in the justifications or qualifications for the position. The law applies to recruitment tactics such as employee referrals and interest-based advertising platforms like LinkedIn and Indeed.
1. Covered Employers, Applicable Job Postings, and Employee Inquiries
The disclosure must be in the following format: “The annual salary for this position is $X to $Y, depending on experience.” Although the law is new, this requirement has been in place since January 1, 2023. The employer’s obligations apply only if they are Washington employers and have applicants who live or work in Washington. The law also covers companies based outside of Washington but offering jobs within the state.
2. Publication Requirement and When to Disclose Salary Range
The law requires employers to make their pay information available if an employee asks for it. Once a request is made, the employer must provide the required information within two business days.
A “request” is any oral or written statement. The employer may decline the request if they believe it would violate other laws, such as wage and hour laws, but they cannot refuse based on gender or race. Employers must also provide this salary range information within two business days of receiving worker’s compensation claims.
3. Disclosures for Application of Pay Transparency Law
The law requires employers to disclose the salary ranges for job listings and advertisements of jobs with over 15 employees. The information must be provided to all current employees who are invited to apply for a position and job applicants who meet the qualifications listed in the ad. The law prevents employers from trying to exclude applicants based on gender or race. If an employer has fewer than 15 employees, they are not required to disclose it and are exempt from the requirements.
The pay transparency law is intended to close the gender wage gap in Washington. The law also ensures that employers will openly acknowledge the salary ranges of jobs and job advertisements. Employers are required by the law to disclose this information as soon as possible, which helps prevent wage discrimination against applicants and existing employees in Washington State.