Alert – Washington Expands Pay Equity Legislation, Effective 7/28/2019


Subject: Washington Expands Pay Equity Legislation
Implementation Date: 7/28/2019
No that is not a typo, on July 28, 2019 the new piece of legislation will go into effect. You may remember that in March of 2018 the Washington Legislators passed the Equal Pay and Opportunities Act (EPOA).

Overview: Washington State’s Equal Pay and Opportunities Act requires employers to provide equal pay and career advancement opportunities to their employees, regardless of gender. The act promotes fairness among workers through:
  • Equal pay. Employers must provide equal compensation to similarly employed workers, except for some specific reasons unrelated to gender.
  •  Equal career advancement opportunities. Employers must not limit or provide career advancement opportunities based on gender.
  • Open wage discussions. Employers cannot stop employees from disclosing their wages with other workers or require agreements with employees that stop them from disclosing their wages.
  • Protection from discrimination, retaliation and firing. Employers cannot take any negative action against an employee for discussing wages, filing a complaint or exercising other rights under the Equal Pay and Opportunities Act.
 In addition, all employers (regardless of size) will not be able to seek the wage or salary history of applicants. However, if provided voluntarily an employer may verify this information.
Specific to employers with 15 or more employees:
  • Employers are required to provide the minimum wage or salary, to applicants, for the position sought when requested. However, this is only required after the employer has provided the applicant with an initial offer of employment.
  • Employers are required to provide wage scale or salary range information to current employees when offered an internal transfer, a new position, or a promotion when requested by the employee.
If you have any questions on this topic or other HR matters, please don’t hesitate to reach out at 503-885-9815 or email us at
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