Washington Equal Pay Acts laws & compensation compliance analysis

Washington Equal Pay Acts: What you need to know

Gender-based discrimination. The Washington Equal Pay and Opportunities Act (EPOA) prohibits all employers from pay discrimination based on gender when workers are similarly employed (WA Stat. § 49.58.020). Employees are “similarly employed” if:
• They work for the same employer;
• Job performance requires similar skill, effort, and responsibility; and
• The jobs are performed under similar working conditions.
The EPOA covers all employers in the state.
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Exception. The EPOA permits pay differences that are based in good faith on bona fide job-related factors that:
• Are consistent with business necessity;
• Are not based on or derived from a gender-based differential; and
• Account for the entire differential.
More than one factor may account for the differential.
Bona fide factors include, but are not limited to:
• Education, training, or experience;
• A seniority system;
• A merit system;
• A system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production; or
• A bona fide regional difference in compensation levels.
A pay differential based in good faith on a local government ordinance providing for a minimum wage different from state law does not constitute discrimination under the law.
An individual's previous wage or salary history is not a defense under the law.
Violations. A violation of the law occurs when:
• A discriminatory compensation decision or other practice is adopted;
• An individual becomes subject to a discriminatory compensation decision or practice; or
• An individual is affected by the application of a discriminatory compensation decision or practice—including each time wages, benefits, or other compensation is paid that resulted in whole or in part from the discriminatory decision or ...

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Washington Equal Pay Acts Resources

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