Washington Pre-Employment Inquiries (Interviewing) laws & HR compliance analysis

Washington Pre-Employment Inquiries (Interviewing): What you need to know

Protected classes. The Washington Law Against Discrimination prohibits employers from making preemployment inquiries about an individual’s age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, 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 based on a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). The law covers employers with eight or more employees (Wash. Rev. Code § 49.60.010 et seq.).
The term “race” includes traits historically associated or perceived to be associated with race, including hair texture and protective hairstyles. “Protective hairstyles” includes hairstyles such as afros, braids, locks, and twists.
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HIV and hepatitis C infection. Testing for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis C as a condition of employment is prohibited, as is making employment decisions based on the results of an HIV or hepatitis C test, absent a BFOQ (Wash. Rev. Code § 49.60.172).
Genetic testing. All employers are prohibited from requiring genetic testing or information of an applicant or employee as a condition of prospective or continued employment (Wash. Rev. Code § 49.44.180). “Genetic information” means any information about inherited characteristics that can be derived from a DNA-based or other laboratory test, family history, or medical examination. It does not include (1) routine physical measurements, including chemical, blood, and urine analysis, unless conducted purposefully to diagnose genetic or inherited characteristics; or (2) results from tests for abuse of alcohol or drugs or for the presence of HIV.
Lie detector testing. With limited exceptions, employers ...

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