Washington Hiring laws & HR compliance analysis

Washington Hiring: What you need to know

The Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) prohibits hiring practices that discriminate based on age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation (including gender identity), race, creed, color, national origin, citizenship or immigration status, 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 WLAD covers all public employers and private employers with eight or more employees ( WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.60.010 et seq.).
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BFOQ exception. According to regulations issued by the Washington Human Rights Commission, the BFOQ exception is limited to those situations where the characteristic:
• Is essential to the accomplishment of the purposes for which the individual was hired, or
• Must be considered in order to correct a condition of unequal employment opportunity.
The Commission advises employers to request an opinion from the Commission before considering a characteristic to be a BFOQ in a particular situation.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C. Employment discrimination based on infection with HIV or hepatitis C is prohibited (WA Rev. Code Sec. 49.60.172). Employers are prohibited from testing an applicant or employee for HIV or hepatitis C as a condition of hiring, promotion, or continued employment, unless the hiring, promotion, or continued employment would endanger the health or safety of the individual, a coworker, or the public.
Genetic testing prohibited. All employers, regardless of size, are prohibited from requiring an applicant or employee to submit to genetic testing as a condition of employment or continued ...

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