Senate Passes Mena Bill Establishing Pay Equity for All Protected Classes in Washington 

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Senate passed House Bill 1905 today, aimed at leveling the playing field for workers across the state. Sponsored by Rep. Sharlett Mena (D-Tacoma), the bill expands existing pay equity protections to encompass all protected classes under Washington’s anti-discrimination laws. 

Despite existing legal measures, persistent and concerning wage gaps continue to plague various demographics, including women of intersectional identities and members of other protected groups. This legislation takes a crucial step towards addressing these disparities and their detrimental economic impacts on individuals, families, and communities. 

“Wage discrimination not only undermines the very notion of fairness, but it also creates instability, hinders progress, and perpetuates cycles of inequality,” Rep. Mena stated. “This bill empowers workers to hold employers accountable for unfair pay practices and ensures that everyone, regardless of their background, has the opportunity to succeed.” 

The economic benefits of closing the wage gap extend far beyond individual justice. Studies have shown that a more equitable workforce fuels overall prosperity by unlocking the full potential and contributions of diverse talent pools. 

The bill now advances to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.