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April 2022: Washington State Passes Law Requiring Display of Salary Ranges and Other Compensation Information

05 Apr

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Update Applicable to:
All employers with 15 or more employees in the state of Washington

What happened?
On March 30, 2022, Governor Inslee signed Senate Bill 5761 (SB 5761) into law, which will have an effect on job postings.

What are the details?
Effective January 1, 2023, the new law will require employers with 15 or more employees to affirmatively disclose in all job postings a wage scale or wage range, as well as “all of the benefits and other compensation to be offered” in connection with the position, regardless of applicant request.

The law does not appear to require job postings, but if a company chooses to post a job, the law would apply. A job “posting” is defined as “any solicitation intended to recruit job applicants for a specific available position, including recruitment done directly by an employer or indirectly through a third party, and includes any postings done electronically, or with a printed hard copy, that includes qualifications for desired applicants.”

The new law also removes earlier language that had stated that if no wage scale or salary range existed, the employer would be required to provide the minimum wage or salary expectation set by the employer prior to posting the position or making a transfer or promotion.

With regard to existing employees, the new law retains the current requirement to, upon request of an employee offered an internal transfer to a new position or promotion, provide the wage scale or salary range for the employee’s new position.  However, it rescinds an existing provision of the law that offers employers the ability to provide only the minimum wage or salary expectation set by the employer for the transfer role if no existing wage scale or salary range exists.  That is, under the new law, employers will effectively need to ensure that a wage scale or salary range is available for all roles subject to an internal transfer.

Under the Equal Pay and Opportunities Act (EPOA), job applicants and employees may be entitled to certain damages and other remedies, potentially including reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, for violations of the statute.

For more information, please see the links below:

Senate Bill 5761 (SB 5761)

Article 1Article 2

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links provided above and ensure that each job posting includes the wage scale or salary range for the position for the new hire, promotion, or transfer, as well as a general description of all benefits and other compensation to be offered.

Need help understanding how changes to employment laws will affect your business?

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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