Washington Outlaws Pay History Questions

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On May 9, 2019 Governor Jay Inslee signed a new law into effect that forbids employers from seeking a job applicant’s salary history or requiring that an applicant’s prior wage or salary history meet certain criteria.  Under the new law, which shall be known as the Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act, employers may confirm an applicant’s wage or salary history if the applicant voluntarily discloses it or after the employer has made an offer of employment with compensation to the applicant.

Remedies for violation of the Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act include actual damages; statutory damages equal to the actual damages or $5,000, whichever is greater; interest of 1% per month on all compensation owed; and attorneys’ fees and costs.

Please feel welcome to contact us if you have questions about the permissible scope of interview questions.


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Emma Kazaryan

Emma is an associate in the firm's litigation and employment practice groups.

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