State LawsWashington

Washington Background Checks

A guide to Washington background checks

What are Washington background check and ban-the-box laws?

We update this overview of Washington background check laws and ban-the-box rules often. But laws change quickly, and we cannot guarantee all information is current. Always consult your attorney for legal advice.

  • FCRA
  • District Laws
  • Ban-The-Box

Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)

In order to set a standard for hiring policies, the federal government created the Fair Credit Reporting Act, or FCRA, which monitors and protects both employers and job candidates.

State Laws

RCW 19.182.040 – Consumer report – Prohibited information – Exceptions

Our Take: Consumer reporting agencies cannot report on criminal information that is older than 7 years, unless the consumer report is used in connection with: (1) a credit transaction that involves or is expected to involve $50,000 or more; or (2) a life insurance policy of $50,000 or more; or (3) the employment of an applicant whose annual salary will equal or is expected to equal $20,000 or more.

RCW 19.182.020 Consumer Reports – Furnishing – Procuring

Our Take: An employer cannot obtain a credit report for employment purposes unless the employer is required by law to obtain the credit information; or the credit information is substantially related to the job and the reason for obtaining the credit information is disclosed in writing to the applicant or employee.

Ban-The-Box & Fair Hiring Laws


No statewide ban-the-box or fair hiring laws exist for Washington. See which counties and cities have local ban-the-box and fair hiring laws.