Washington Affirmative Action laws & HR compliance analysis

Washington Affirmative Action: What you need to know

Affirmative action laws are laws that require the employer to make proactive efforts to represent individuals from certain protected classes in the workplace at levels comparable to those for unprotected classes. Affirmative action requirements are separate and distinct from nondiscrimination laws, which prohibit discriminatory acts against protected persons but do not mandate proactive steps in their favor. This section is limited to a discussion of affirmative action requirements. There is a full discussion of nondiscrimination laws. You may also want to consult other related topics for more information.
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The Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin (including ancestry), age (40 years of age or older), sex (including pregnancy), marital status, sexual orientation (including gender identity), military status, actual or perceived human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis C infection, disability, or the use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a person with a disability, unless a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exception applies (WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.44.090, Sec. 49.60.180 et seq.). The WLAD covers public employers and private employers with eight or more employees, including employment agencies and labor unions. Nonprofit religious or sectarian organizations are exempt from the law's coverage. The law has no specific provision that requires private employers to implement affirmative action plans and expressly provides that employers are not required to establish employment goals or quotas based on sexual ...

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