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Attention Washington State Employers

Effective June 7, 2018, HB 1506 prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender and specifically, with regard to compensation between “similarly employed” employees.  “Similarly employed” includes (1) working for the same employer; (2) performing the job requires similar skill, effort, and responsibility; and (3) performing the job under similar working conditions.  Discrimination does not include differentials in wages based in good faith on bona fide job-related factors that may include education, training, experience, a seniority system, a merit system, a production-based earnings system, or regional differences in compensation levels.  It is important to note that the law states that an individual’s previous wage history is not a defense to a cause of action brought under it.  While the law does not specifically prevent an employer from asking about the previous wages of an applicant, there is little reason to do so, if he or she cannot use that information.

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