A new law amending the Equal Pay and Opportunities Act imposes new restrictions on employers in an effort to reduce the gender pay gap. Effective July 28, 2019, under HB 1696, it is now unlawful to request a job applicant’s wage or salary history, except under certain circumstances. Employers must also show job applicants the minimum wage scale or salary range of the position they are applying for upon request, once the position has been offered. In addition, employers are required to provide current employees who are offered an internal job change the new job’s wage scale or salary range upon request. If none exists, the employer must provide the wage or salary expectation set prior to making the position available.
The ban on requesting salary history applies to all Washington employers and the requirement to disclose salary information to certain applicants and employees applies to employers with 15 or more employees. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) recommends that Washington employers review job application forms and other hiring documentation to remove any requests for or references to job applicants’ salary history.