The state of Washington is set to become the second state in the country that requires employers to be entirely transparent regarding compensation when hiring. Previously, the state had passed the Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act (EPOA) in 2019, which required employers to disclose wage information upon request from an applicant. However, effective January 1, 2023, Senate Bill 5761 (SB5761) will now require employers to include compensation information as part of any job postings.
SB5761 will specially apply to employers with 15 or more employees and require that any job posting include a salary range or wage scale, as well as any benefits or additional compensation provided. The law defines a posting 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.”
Furthermore, in the event an employee is to transfer internally within an organization or is promoted, the employer is required to provide the wage scale or salary range for the new position.
Next Steps for Employers
Even with being more than six months out from the compliance date of this legislation, employers will want to prepare by reviewing and updating their pre-existing job postings and include all relevant information needed. Additionally, employers will want to ensure that any newly created job postings moving forward will also include the necessary compensation information. Multi-state employers may want to consider enacting a company-wide policy for regarding this subject, given the expanding number of states and local ordinances beginning to require salary transparency.
Employers lacking an official pay structure are recommended to develop one prior to the upcoming legislation implementation date. Conservatively speaking an employer may look to analyze their roles to gain a better understanding of a role’s responsibilities in addition to other relevant factors, including the knowledge, skills and abilities required to perform the job successfully. Additionally, employers should review market data in order to compare current compensation against market data. Employers are encouraged to review the Bureau of Labor Statistics, who pulls, and shares wage data based on multiple national surveys across the entire country for assistance with obtaining external compensation information.