On April 16, 2021, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law the Washington Wage Recovery Act, allowing employees to place a lien on their employers’ property to secure unpaid wages.

The purpose of the law is to provide employees with another tool to secure their unpaid wages. Currently, Washington employees must wait until resolution of a civil demand or lawsuit or an investigation by a governmental agency to receive payment of unpaid wages. With the Washington Wage Recovery Act, employees can now hold a security interest in their employers’ property while they wait for resolution. Washington joins several other states that also have broad wage lien provisions, including Wisconsin, Maryland, Indiana, and Tennessee.

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