June 26, 2022

Volume XII, Number 177


June 24, 2022

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June 23, 2022

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Washington State to Join the Growing List of States with Expanding Pay Disclosure Requirements

The rise of state pay transparency laws continues, this time with Washington doubling down on its most recent round of pay equity legislation. If new legislation currently on the desk of Governor Inslee becomes law, Washington employers will soon be required to make affirmative compensation-based disclosures to both applicants and employees.

To date, Washington has implemented one of the more moderate approaches to pay transparency. Under the current law, employers with 15 or more employees are required to provide applicants the “minimum wage or salary” for a position, but only after an offer has been made and upon applicant request. Similarly, employers must also provide the “wage scale or salary range” for internal transfers, but only after an internal transfer or promotion has been offered and upon employee request.

Washington is now poised to align itself with the more aggressive pay transparency regimes implemented in places like Colorado and New York City. Under the proposed legislation, Washington employers with 15 or more employees would be required to affirmatively disclose in all job postings a “wage scale or salary range” and a description of “benefits and all other compensation,” regardless of offer status or applicant request. Similarly, employers would also be required to disclose the “wage scale or salary range” for internal transfers.

Similar to many of its counterparts nationwide, the Washington legislation presents a certain level of uncertainty for employers.

The legislation first fails to define the terms “wage scale or salary range” and “benefits and all other compensation,” further compounding the ambiguity by striking a portion of the current law that allows for the provision of a “minimum wage or salary” if no “wage scale or salary range” exists.

It is likely that subsequent guidance will be needed to provide employers with direction on implementation and compliance, much like what we have seen in states like Colorado that have sought to clarify similar ambiguity.

If signed into law, these requirements will go into effect January 1, 2023.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2022National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 83

About this Author

Laura Mitchell, Jackson Lewis, Management Representation lawyer, Contractual Drafting Attorney

Laura A. Mitchell is a Principal in the Denver, Colorado, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She represents management exclusively in all areas of employment law, focusing on affirmative action and government contractor compliance.

Ms. Mitchell is a Principal in the firm’s Affirmative Action and OFCCP Defense practice group, representing government and non-government contractors in Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) matters, preparing for and defending OFCCP audits, and counseling employers on issues stemming...

Sherry Talton Employment Attorney Seattle
Of Counsel

Sherry L. Talton is Of Counsel in the Seattle, Washington, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She advises and represents employers in every stage of disputes, from risk management to trial and appeal.

Ms. Talton has a broad base of litigation, trial, and appellate experience in numerous state and federal courts across the nation. She has assisted employers to protect their trade secrets, combat wrongful competition, comply with wage and hour laws, enforce arbitration agreements and other employment contract provisions, and implement best recruiting, hiring, and...

Logan J. Taylor Labor Lawyer Jackson Lewis Denver

Logan J. Taylor is an associate in the Denver, Colorado, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice focuses on representing employers in all areas of employment law, including management-side advice and counseling.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Logan worked as a judicial law clerk in Colorado’s First Judicial District and subsequently practiced as a commercial litigation attorney for a national defense firm.

Professional Associations and Activities

  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association