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PDFWAC 162-16-200

General purpose and definitions.

The law against discrimination protects persons from discrimination in employment (RCW 49.60.180, 49.60.190, and 49.60.200). Persons are also protected from discrimination as provided in RCW 49.60.172 (unfair practices with respect to HIV infection), RCW 49.60.174 (actual or perceived HIV infection), and RCW 49.60.210 (unfair to discriminate against person opposing unfair practice).
(1) The commission's first objective in writing the rules in this chapter and in making future decisions on questions not addressed in this chapter is to eliminate and prevent discrimination. This is the overall purpose of the law against discrimination.
(2) Other objectives in writing these rules are:
(a) To be consistent with interpretations of federal antidiscrimination law and the antidiscrimination laws of other states, where these are comparable to Washington law, and where the commission does not find that a different rule would better serve the state of Washington.
(b) To avoid the uncritical adoption of definitions from areas of law other than antidiscrimination law. It is appropriate to define employment differently in different areas of the law to carry out the separate purpose of each area of law.
(c) To give effect to the purposes of the exemption of employers of less than eight from public enforcement of the law against discrimination, as identified in RCW 49.60.040.
(d) The public and commission staff need standards that are certain and that are easy to understand and apply. Therefore we must sometimes simply draw a line, although reasonable persons could differ as to where the line should be drawn.
(3) The state law against discrimination covers employers with eight or more employees. Persons should also educate themselves on relevant local or federal antidiscrimination laws.
(4) Definition:
In this chapter, the following words are used in the meaning given, unless the context clearly indicates another meaning.
"Protected status" is short for the phrase, "age, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, marital status, race, creed, color, national origin, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a disabled person," and means the full phrase (see RCW 49.60.180).
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.60.120(3). WSR 15-24-071, § 162-16-200, filed 11/25/15, effective 12/26/15; WSR 99-15-025, § 162-16-200, filed 7/12/99, effective 8/12/99.]
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