Today, the Washington legislature made history by passing the strongest-in-the-nation pay transparency legislation. House Bill 1696 by Rep. Laurie Dolan (D-Olympia) prohibits an employer from seeking the wage or salary history of an applicant in most circumstances. It also requires an employer to provide the wage or salary range for the job title to a job applicant or employee both upon hire and annually, upon request. Washington will be the first state to extend this right to job applicants.
“This is really an important step towards gender equity in our state. When women don’t make enough money, families don’t make enough money,” said Rep. Dolan.
Women in our state have regularly experienced pay discrimination based on salary history. Furthermore, women are regularly offered lower initial pay for the same jobs, even when education and experience are comparable. This results in lower lifetime pay, less family income, and more children and families in poverty.
The bill has passed both chambers of the legislature and is headed to Governor Inslee’s desk for his signature.
This history-making legislation is follow up to 2018’s House Bill 1506 relating to gender pay equity.