Washington Advertising laws & HR compliance analysis

Washington Advertising: What you need to know

The Washington Law Against Discrimination prohibits employers of eight or more employees and employment agencies from printing or circulating (or causing to be printed or circulated) any statement, advertisement, or publication expressing any limitation, specification, or discrimination as to age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation (including gender identity), race, creed, color, national origin, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a disabled person unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). An employer that thinks that a particular job requires a BFOQ should review it with the Washington State Human Rights Commission before advertising the job. It is an unfair labor practice to use any word, term, phrase, or expression that tends to influence, encourage or discourage, attract or repel, any person or persons because of a protected status (WA Admin. Code Sec. 162-16-260; WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.60.180(4)).
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It is not an unfair labor practice for any newspaper or other advertising medium to print, publish, or circulate employment advertisements expressing the wording of the advertisement or, subtly, directly or indirectly, a preference, specification or limitation on the basis of protected status, provided the newspaper or other advertising medium furnishes, on request of a duly authorized representative of the Commission, the name and address of the person who submitted the advertisement for publication. In other words, the medium is not responsible for the ad writer but must provide the Human Rights Commission with the person’s contact informationWA Admin. ...

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