Washington's New Pay Transparency Requirements for Job Postings

Beginning on January 1, 2023, Washington employers with 15 or more employees are required to comply with Washington’s new pay transparency law by including salary and benefit information in all job postings. Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries recently published updated administrative guidance to help employers understand and comply with the new disclosure requirements.

Disclosure Requirements

For each job posting (including both internal and external postings), an employer must disclose in each posting for a job opening the wage scale or salary range, and a general description of all benefits and other compensation that will be offered to a hired applicant. The compensation information should include bonus structures, commissions, etc.

L&I’s new guidance provides detailed examples of the type of information that should be included in postings. For example, the wage scale/salary range should have a low and a high number, rather than open-ended descriptions such as “up to $45/hour” or “$80k and up”. Any starting pay or range should be specified – for example “starting salary will range between $60,000 and $65,000 per year”. If there are multiple levels for a job, the pay scale for each level should be provided.

If the job posting is for an opening that can be filled with varying job titles, depending on applicant experience levels, the employer should specify all potential wage scales or salary ranges that may apply.

Postings must also include a general description of all benefits and other compensation, including items such as health care benefits, retirement benefits, paid time off benefits (such as sick leave, vacation, PTO), and other fringe benefits. The postings do not need to include the monetary value of benefits, but they should include accurate descriptions of the benefits. Electronic job postings can use links to provide applicants with more detailed benefits information.

Employers are expected to keep the compensation and benefit information on postings current – if there are changes to the compensation range or benefit offered after a posting has been published, the employer is expected to update the posting to reflect the updated compensation and benefit information. Similarly, it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure continuous functionality of any links included in postings.

Employers Covered

The pay transparency law applies to all employers with 15 or more employees, who have at least one employee working in Washington.

Next Steps

Employers should act now to ensure compliance with the pay transparency requirements by January 1, 2023. Montgomery Purdue attorneys are available to assist employers with these and other workplace requirements.

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