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e-Alert – Washington Enacts Salary History Ban

By July 12, 2019October 8th, 2020No Comments


Joining the growing list of states addressing pay inequity, Washington recently adopted a new law that prohibits employers from inquiring about an applicant’s wage or salary history. This law, which takes effect July 2019, also bans employers from requiring that an applicant’s wages or salary “meet certain criteria”.

Employers are still allowed to confirm an applicant’s wage or salary history if the applicant voluntarily discloses this information or after the employer has negotiated with the applicant and made an offer of employment, with compensation. Additionally, upon request, the employer must provide an applicant with the minimum wage or salary for the position the applicant is applying for. This information must also be provided if requested by a current employee being offered an internal transfer or promotion.

Next Steps for Employers

  • Remove any questions surrounding pay history from your job application and hiring process and ensure that any recruiters and background screening vendors you are working with have done the same.
  • Make sure your hiring managers and those involved in the interview process are trained to not ask questions about salary history.
  • Refrain from releasing salary information for past employees without specific written authorization from the employee.
  • If you are one of our Full-Service or Virtual HR clients and would like assistance with updating your employment application as well as sample interview questions that will keep you compliant with the new regulations, please email us.

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This content is provided with the understanding that HR Knowledge is not rendering legal advice. While every effort is made to provide current information, the law changes regularly and laws may vary depending on the state or municipality. The material is made available for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice or your professional judgment. You should review applicable laws in your jurisdiction and consult experienced counsel for legal advice. If you have any questions regarding this content, please contact HR Knowledge at 508.339.1300 or email us.