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Workplace Discrimination

Washington state law protects all people from discriminatory and unfair practices in the workplace. Unfortunately, many employers participate in workplace discrimination, sometimes unknowingly, against employees and job applicants.

Types of Workplace Discrimination

In todays diverse workforce, workplace discrimination remains a significant challenge, with individuals facing various forms of bias and prejudice based on factors such as race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, and religion. From subtle microaggressions to overt acts of exclusion, these discriminatory practices not only harm individuals but also undermine the core principles of fairness and equality in the workplace. The major types of discrimination that occur in Washington state include:

  • Age (40 and above),
  • Color,
  • Disability,
  • Gender identity,
  • Genetic information,
  • National origin,
  • Pregnancy or parenthood,
  • Race,
  • Religion, and
  • Sexual orientation.
Image of a book about workplace discrimination

What Does Discrimination in the Workplace Look Like?

Here are some examples:

  • Listing preferred candidates in a job advertisement or excluding potential job applicants based on race, age, gender, etc.
  • Denying compensation, benefits, or promotions to certain employees, or demonstrating bias when conducting layoffs
  • Paying different salaries to employees in the same position with similar qualifications
  • Assigning abnormal leave for a disability, workplace injury, parental leave, or denying retirement options
  • Making it difficult to use company facilities, or outright denying access

If you’ve experienced any of these situations, it’s important to contact an experienced Discrimination attorney to help protect your rights.

Discrimination during the Hiring Process

Employment discrimination can also happen during the hiring process. You could potentially lose out on appropriate compensation, be denied a transfer or promotion, and more. It is illegal for employers to discriminate against job applicants based on their race, gender, pregnancy, religion, or any other part of their identity that qualifies them as part of a protected class. Additionally, employers cannot ask you certain questions or deny access to information, such as salary or benefits.

Discrimination vs. Harassment

Discrimination refers to the unfair treatment of individuals or groups based on certain protected characteristics, such as race, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or national origin. In Washington state, discrimination in the workplace is prohibited by both state and federal laws, including the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers are legally obligated to provide equal opportunities and treatment to all employees, regardless of their protected status.

On the other hand, harassment involves unwelcome conduct that creates a hostile or intimidating work environment for an individual or group. This conduct may include verbal, physical, or visual actions that target protected characteristics, such as derogatory comments, offensive jokes, or unwanted advances. Washington state law prohibits harassment based on the same protected characteristics as discrimination, and employers have a duty to prevent and address harassment in the workplace.

Do I Need to Hire a Discrimination Attorney?

If you believe that your workers’ rights have been violated, hiring an experienced Discrimination attorney can be critical to receiving what you’re owed. They can help you determine if you and others have a case and what your options are. If needed, they can help you bring the case to court or help you negotiate a deal with your employer without ever stepping into a courtroom.

If you feel that you are owed damages, or if you have questions regarding workplace discrimination, call us. Emery | Reddy, PLLC has decades of experience in Employment Law and an unmatched record of helping Washington state workers get the justice they deserve in Employment Law violations. Call for a Free Case Review to speak to an experienced Intake Specialist and learn more about your rights.

Want More Information?

As a Washington state employee, you are entitled to several protections and benefits under state and federal laws.

A document review is a comprehensive consultation and analysis of your document’s legal language, context, and impact on your worker’s rights as an employee of Washington state.

While Washington is at an at-will employment state, it is still possible to be unlawfully fired. If you believe you are a victim of wrongful termination, you need an aggressive and experienced legal team to fight for the justice you deserve.

We fight for you

Meet the Team

The workplace Discrimination Attorneys at Emery | Reddy, PLLC are passionate about helping workers with Employment Law issues and L&I claims. We Help Workers®. It’s our motto and what drives us every day.

We know how companies think, and we understand the tactics they use. Our workplace discrimination Attorneys use that knowledge coupled with over three decades of experience to help our clients get access to the benefits to which they are legally entitled and hold employers accountable when they break the law.

If you’re struggling with an employment issueinjury, or L&I claim, call us for a Free Case Review with an experienced Intake Specialist to learn more about how Emery | Reddy may be able help you today.

“Working with Tim and his team was an absolute pleasure. They are incredibly knowledgeable, helpful, and have their client's best interests at heart. I highly recommend them!”

— S.M.

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