Employers face lawsuits for pay transparency violations

Oct 19, 2023
Written by WR Communications


Dozens of lawsuits, including at least one class action lawsuit, have been filed against some Washington state employers accused of failing to disclose salary and benefit information on job postings. In 2022, the Legislature passed SB 5761, now under RCW 49.50.050, requiring companies with more than 15 employees to include pay range and benefits information on a job posting. The new mandate provides pay transparency to close gender and racial wage gaps.

Prior to SB 5761, employers were required to provide salary information upon request only after an initial job offer or transfer. The new law, modeled after Colorado statutes, requires posting a salary range and a general description of all the benefits and other compensation to be offered to potential applicants.

According to guidance from Washington’s Department of Labor and Industries,’ F700-225-000 Job posting requirements factsheet, salary ranges should extend from the lowest to highest possible pay and list benefits offered, including health insurance, retirement plans, paid days off, parental leave and stock options.

The law provides that employees can bring a civil action and are “entitled to relief only if the court determines that the employer committed a pattern of violations” or “through application of a formal or informal employer policy or practice.”

WR voiced concerns about the likelihood of lawsuits being filed in House and Senate hearings on SB 5761. Although none of these cases have been concluded, it appears Washington Retail’s concerns were justified.


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