join our network! affiliate login  
Custom Search
GET OUR FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTERS!
Daily and Weekly Editions • Articles • Alerts • Expert Advice • Learn More

Washington State Governor Signs Legislation Restricting Noncompetition Covenants

On May 8, 2019, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed new restrictions on noncompetition covenants for Washington employees. The new restrictions are effective January 1, 2020. Key elements of this new law include the following:

Changes on the Horizon for Washington State’s Pay Equity Law: Salary History Inquiries

On May 9, 2019, Washington State governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1696, “an act relating to wage and salary information.” The new law is similar to legislation being promulgated throughout the country, including by Washington’s neighbor to the south, Oregon. This law will become effective on July 28, 2019.

Washington Amends its Equal Pay Law to Enact Salary History Ban and Require Disclosure of Salary Ranges

On May 9, 2019, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1696, the state’s most recent pay equity legislation, which the bill claims is an “additional step towards gender equality.”1

Washington State Enacts Noncompete Agreements Act

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a new law governing the use of noncompete agreements, which includes a penalty provision while also restricting the use of no-poach agreements and moonlighting policies. The law becomes effective January 1, 2020, but will also apply retroactively to agreements signed before then so long as the claims are asserted on or after January 1, 2020.

Washington’s New Non-Compete Bill Brings Challenges For Employers

Finding that “workforce mobility is important to economic growth and development,” Washington just passed a new law that will significantly restrict noncompetition agreements with both employees and independent contractors. The governor signed the bill into effect on May 8, ushering in a new era for restrictive covenants in the state.

Washington State Enacts Comprehensive Noncompete Reform

On May 8, 2019, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed Engrossed Substitute House Bill 1450 (HB 1450), radically altering the law governing noncompetition agreements and moonlighting prohibitions in Washington State. The bill will become effective on January 1, 2020, but includes provisions for retroactivity. Employers with Washington operations that have (or want) such agreements with their employees, or that are considering hiring individuals who have entered into such agreements with other employers, need to understand the new restrictions.

Washington Legislature Passes the Washington State Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Act to Permit Affirmative Action in Public Employment, Education, and Contracting

For 20 years, public agencies in Washington State have been barred from favoring or discriminating against applicants, employees, or contractors based on sex, ethnicity, color, race, or national origin. On the last day of its regular 2019 session, April 28, 2019, the Washington State legislature eased that bar, passing the Washington State Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Act, proposed by the citizens of Washington State as Initiative 1000 (I-1000). I-1000 becomes effective 90 days after the end of the regular legislative session, July 27, 2019.

Washington Governor Signs Non-Compete Law

On May 8, 2019, Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed into law HB 1450, described as “AN ACT Relating to restraints, including noncompetition covenants, on persons engaging in lawful professions, trades, or businesses[.]” While the Act does not take effect until January 1, 2020, its restrictions apply retroactively to existing agreements signed before that date.

Washington Adds Pay History Ban, Transparency Requirements

Washington is the latest state to pass additional pay equity protections. One year after enacting the 2018 Equal Pay and Opportunity Act, which included an array of enhanced pay equity provisions, the legislature passed HB 1696, which restricts pay history inquires and enhances pay transparency requirements. The bill passed on a near party-line vote. Governor Jay Inslee is expected to sign the legislation, which would go into effect 90 days later.

Washington Poised to Significantly Expand Its Data Breach Notification Law

It was looking like Washington state would be the first state to follow the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), with a GDPR-like law of its own. That effort has stalled, perhaps temporarily. However, both Washington’s House and Senate voted unanimously to send HB 1071 to Gov. Jay Inslee, which would substantially expand the state’s current data breach notification obligations.