Washington State Requiring Salary Transparency on Job Postings Effective January 1, 2023
On January 1, 2023, RCW 49.58.110 goes into effect. This law addresses salary transparency in job postings for certain Washington State employers. In November 2022, the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries (“L&I”) issued an administrative policy addressing the new job posting requirements under RCW 49.58.110 and providing guidance on L&I’s existing interpretation of the act.
What is the Equal Pay and Opportunities Act? This law prohibits discrimination based on gender and promotes fairness among workers by addressing business practices that contribute to income inequality between genders.
Under the law, L&I has the authority to investigate complaints filed by both current and former employees and job applicants.
The law requires employers to provide equal compensation to similarly employed workers unless a permissible factor for differences in pay exists. These factors include differences in education, training, and experience, seniority, merit/work performance, quality or quantity of production, regional differences in compensation and differences in local minimum wage.
Employers may not limit or provide career advancement opportunities to employees based on gender.
Employers may not prohibit employees from inquiring about, disclosing, comparing or discussing their wages.
The law prohibits discrimination and retaliation against an employee who exercises their rights under the law.
Employers may not seek wage or salary history of an applicant’s prior wage or salary history or require that the applicant’s prior wage or salary history meet certain criteria.
How does RCW 49.58.110 and the administrative policy impact job postings? Beginning on January 1, 2023, all employers with 15 or more employees who engage in business in Washington must disclose in each posting for each job opening the wage scale or salary range and a general description of all benefits (retirement plans, paid time off, etc.) and other compensation to be offered to a hired applicant.
A wage scale or salary range should provide the applicant with the employer’s most reasonable and genuinely expected range of compensation for the job extending from the lowest to highest pay established by the employer prior to publishing the job posting.
If the wage scale or salary range changes after posting, the employer must update the posting.
If the employer offers a different position than what the applicant applied for, the employer may offer the applicant the wage scale or salary range specific to the position offered, rather than the position in the posting.
The new job posting requirement under Washington’s Equal Pay and Opportunities Act is not surprising. States across the country, including New York, California, and Colorado, have already enacted salary transparency laws and we can expect to see similar laws passed in other states in the future. If you have any questions about how the new law impacts your job postings, please feel free to contact me at or 503-595-6115.