Gov. Jay Inslee signs law aimed at lowering gender wage gap
Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a measure that seeks to reduce the wage gap between men and women and provide equal growth opportunities and fair treatment in the workplace.
The measure modifies the state’s Equal Pay Act by making several changes, including making it unacceptable for employers to retaliate against an employee for asking about their wages or the salary of other employees. It also provides additional protections under the existing law for employees whose professional opportunities are hindered because of their gender.
Under the new law, which takes effect in June, an employee who believes they are being paid less than another colleague who has the same experience and does the same work, based on gender, may file a complaint with the Department of Labor and Industries, which can assess penalties against an employer. Employers are not able to fire or otherwise retaliate against employees for filing a complaint. Additionally, employees can take civil action on issues related to career advancement, wage discussion, and retaliation provisions.