Washington: Salary History Inquiry Ban and Sexual Harassment Updates


Certain Employers with WA Employees, as indicated


As Indicated


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The Washington Legislature has enacted a number of laws over the past few months.  Below is a summary of legislative updates and key court decisions that impact employers.

Salary History Inquiry Prohibition

Yet another statewide salary history ban! Like Illinois and Nevada, the Washington legislature amended the state’s Equal Pay Act to prohibit salary history inquiries in an effort to promote fair pay practices.  As of July 28, 2019, employers may not seek salary history information from applicants, though employers are permitted to verify information voluntarily disclosed by the applicant, or after the employer has extended an offer of employment containing compensation.

Unlike Nevada, Washington employers will be required to provide a wage scale or the minimum salary associated with a position to applicants after making an initial offer of employment, or upon request to an existing employee who is offered an internal transfer or promotion.

Panic Buttons and Sexual Harassment Prevention

Earlier this year, SB 5258 required employers in the hospitality industry to provide panic buttons to employees who work alone. Hotels or motels with 60 or more rooms must meet the provisions of SB 5258 by January 1, 2020, and all other hospitality, retail, and security guard entities or property service contractors must meet the requirements by January 1, 2021.

Action Items

  1. Prepare required wage scale notices.
  2. Have hiring managers trained on new pre-employment restrictions.
  3. Prepare to implement panic buttons, as applicable.
  4. Subscribers can call our HR On-Call Hotline at (888) 378-2456 for further assistance.

Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2019 ManagEase

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