The Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) prohibits discriminating in employment on the basis of sex (WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.60.010 et seq.).
According to the regulations issued by the Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC), discrimination against an employee or an applicant for employment because of pregnancy is a form of sex discrimination (WA Admin. Code Sec. 162-30-020).
Therefore, employers may not discharge or refuse to hire a woman because she is pregnant or may become pregnant in the future.
Employers must also treat a woman on pregnancy-related leave the same as other employees on leave for sickness or other temporary disabilities. This means that employers must provide the same disability leave benefits to women who are pregnant or have recently given birth as they provide to any other employee. This also means that disabilities related to pregnancy or childbirth cannot be excluded from an employer’s other leave or benefits policies.
The WLAD applies to employers of eight or more employees.