About 35,000 state employees found extra money in their pay envelopes Friday, the first payments under the nation's largest comparable worth program.
Workers in Seattle, Olympia and Spokane celebrated with rallies and "breakfasts of champions."
The checks include an average pay boost of 5% for previously underpaid workers in female-dominated classifications.
The minimum increase is 2.5%, and the largest, for day-care coordinators in higher education, 32.5%. Clerical workers will be getting 10% increases.
The increases were the first concrete evidence of the settlement of a 12-year battle in Washington for comparable worth, a practice of paying people equally for jobs requiring similar skills or responsibilities.