Washington Civil Rights laws & HR compliance analysis

Washington Civil Rights: What you need to know

The Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) prohibits employment practices that discriminate on the basis of age (40 years of age or older), sex (including pregnancy), marital status, sexual orientation (including gender identity), race, creed, color, national origin, honorably discharged veteran or military status, 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. 49.60.180et 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.
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Under the WLAD, it is unlawful for an employer to:
• Refuse to hire a person, discharge or bar a person from employment, discriminate against a person in compensation or in other terms or conditions of employment on the basis of a protected characteristic, unless based on a BFOQ.
• Print or circulate any statement, advertisement, or publication, or use a job application form, or make any inquiry in connection with prospective employment, which expresses any limitation, specification, or discrimination as to a protected characteristic, or any intent to make any such limitation, specification, or discrimination, unless based on a BFOQ.
• Discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against any person for opposing any unlawful discriminatory practice, or for filing a charge, testifying, or assisting in any proceeding under the law.
• Aid, abet, encourage, or incite a person to commit an unfair practice, or attempt to obstruct or prevent a person from complying ...

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