The new law renders it unlawful for employers, of all sizes, to request a job applicant’s wage or salary history, with few exceptions.
During the 2019 legislative session the Legislature passed Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1696, concerning wage and salary information. The law, which took effect last month, updates the Equal Pay and Opportunities Act (EPOA). The new law renders it unlawful for employers, of all sizes, to request a job applicant’s wage or salary history, with few exceptions.
The initial EPOA, passed in 2018, prohibits pay discrimination based on gender and aims to prevent practices that contribute to gender pay disparity throughout the state. In addition to the prohibition on wage history inquiries, employers with 15 or more employees are now required to disclose to job applicants the minimum wage or salary of the position they are applying for, if the individual makes a request after being offered the position. The law also mandates that current employees who are offered an internal transfer, a new position, or a promotion be shown the new job's wage scale, if requested.
For more information on the EPOA, visit the Department of Labor & Industries.
Learn more about other legislation passed during the 2019 legislative session by reading the 2019 Legislative Session Summary on WSDA’s blog.