September 24, 2022

Volume XII, Number 267


September 23, 2022

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September 22, 2022

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Washington Employers Required to Disclose Salary Range and Wage Scale in Job Postings Beginning January 1, 2023

On March 30, 2022, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 5761, a measure that requires employers to affirmatively disclose in each job posting open to applicants the salary range or wage scale to be offered, as well as a general description of all benefits and other compensation for the position. Effective January 1, 2023, the law applies to employers with fifteen or more employees and places this requirement on certain public, as well as private, employers that do business in Washington. The law does not specify that all of those employees must be in Washington State. The law also does not address whether it covers postings for remote positions.

With this law, Washington joins Colorado and New York City in imposing a requirement to include pay information in job postings.

SB 5761 revises a 2019 amendment to Washington’s 2018 Equal Pay and Opportunities Act (EPOA) that was added to include protections for applicants for employment, transfer, or promotion, expanding the EPOA’s purview beyond current employees. The 2019 amendment required disclosure of wage scale and salary range information to applicants only upon request. As noted, the new law requires affirmative disclosure of wage, salary, and benefit information in job postings, but it leaves unchanged an employer’s requirement to provide the same information to employees offered new positions or promotions within the company only when requested.

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.

Under the 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.

Key Takeaways

Beginning on January 1, 2023, employers that conduct business in Washington and have fifteen or more employees are required to ensure that each job posting includes the wage scale or salary range for the position, as well as a general description of all benefits and other compensation to be offered

© 2022, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 91

About this Author

Adam Pankratz, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Labor and Employment Litigation Attorney

Mr. Pankratz represents corporations and management in a myriad of employment-related and complex commercial matters, including litigation involving discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wage and hour, wrongful termination, ADA and FMLA leave issues, and other matters in state and federal courts and administrative agencies. Mr. Pankratz has experience successfully representing employers in executive termination, non-compete and unfair competition disputes.  Mr. Pankratz has extensive experience representing employers both locally and nationally on various employment...

Sarah Platt, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Employment Law Attorney
Of Counsel

Sarah Platt is of counsel in the firm’s Milwaukee office. She represents employers in all areas of employment law, including:

  • Proactive, practical counseling regarding hiring, discipline, accommodation, leave, and termination issues to avoid litigation and create a strong record to defend employment actions should litigation arise;

  • Drafting strong employment policies to comply with state and federal laws and guide employee conduct;

  • Investigating and responding to...

Kathryn P. Fletcher Attorney Litigation Employment Ogletree Deakins Seattle
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Ms. Fletcher represents employers in all aspects of employment claims and litigation in federal and state courts, at arbitration, mediation, and before administrative agencies, including matters involving wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment, disability and religious accommodation, retaliation, wage and hour, and breach of contract claims. She has successfully defended cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the Washington State Court of Appeals.

Ms. Fletcher advises employers on personnel...