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Washington Expands on Pay Transparency Requirements

The State of Washington recently issued a number of updates to their Equal Pay and Opportunity Act that take effect January 1, 2023. Currently, under the Equal Pay and Opportunity Act, employers with 15 or more employees are required to disclose the minimum salary and other compensation information when specifically requested by an individual applying for the position or if an official offer of employment had been extended to the individual.

Job Postings

Effective January 1, 2023, disclosure of the wage range and other benefits and compensation will be required to be proactively included in any job postings. It should be noted that job postings are not required under the law, but if a job posting is released, then the posting must include all relevant information.

According to the Washington Department of Labor, for purposes of the legislation, 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, whether electronic or hard copy, that includes qualifications for desired applicants.”

Exceptions

There is no requirement that wage information be included in internal job postings, however, upon request of an employee offered an internal transfer to a new position or promotion, the employer must provide the wage scale or salary range for the employee’s new position.

Next Steps

In anticipation of the effective date, it is a good opportunity for employers to review both their external and internal recruiting practices, specifically, as it relates to posting of open positions and to examine compensation practices to ensure that wage ranges for open positions are in line with industry and market data for competitiveness and retention of employees.

Employers should also begin reviewing their current job postings and ensure that any future position advertisements, include the wage range, benefits and other compensation. Employers should consider if it makes sense to adopt this practice for internal postings, as well. Having this information automatically included in any internal positions may ease administrative burden to produce this information once it requested.

Employers should also train those involved in recruiting and hiring to ensure they properly respond to any questions or documentation related to wage information.

Multistate employers may have additional obligations under various state-specific wage disclosure laws.

HR Works, Inc., headquartered at 200 WillowBrook Office Park in Fairport (Rochester), New York, with an office in East Syracuse, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.