On March 30, 2022, Washington Governor Inslee signed into law a bill that will require employers to include a salary or pay range, as well as information about other compensation and benefits, in each job posting. The bill revises the existing state law that requires only that employers provide the minimum wage or salary for a position to an applicant after an offer of employment has been made.  The new law takes effect on January 1, 2023.

Specifically, the new law will require Washington employers with 15 or more employees to affirmatively disclose in all job postings a wage scale or wage range, as well as “all of the benefits and other compensation to be offered”  in connection with the position, regardless of applicant request.  For purposes of the law, “postings” means “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.”  While the law does not define “wage scale,” “salary range,” or “benefits,” the term “compensation” is defined elsewhere in the same chapter of the law to mean “discretionary and nondiscretionary wages and benefits provided by an employer to an employee as a result of the employment relationship.”

With regard to existing employees, the new law retains the current requirement to, upon request of an employee offered an internal transfer to a new position or promotion, provide the wage scale or salary range for the employee’s new position.  However, it rescinds an existing provision of the law that offers employers the ability to provide only the minimum wage or salary expectation set by the employer for the transfer role if no existing wage scale or salary range exists.  That is, under the new law, employers will effectively now need to ensure that a wage scale or salary range is available for all roles subject to internal transfer.

By enacting this law, Washington joins other jurisdictions including New York City and Colorado in requiring affirmative disclosure of wage information as part of the hiring process.  However, several questions remain with regard to the Washington law in advance of next year’s effective date, including how broadly (or narrowly) many of the key provisions will be interpreted by the state.

We will continue to monitor and report on further developments regarding this law.