HTML has links - PDF has Authentication
162-16-250  <<  162-16-260 >>   162-16-270

PDFWAC 162-16-260

Discriminatory language in advertising and recruiting.

(1) Unfair practice. The law against discrimination (RCW 49.60.180, 49.60.190 and 49.60.200) makes it an unfair practice for employers, labor unions, employment agencies, or other persons to discriminate on the basis of protected status. An exception is if a bona fide occupational qualification applies (please see WAC 162-16-240). The law against discrimination (RCW 49.60.220) also makes it an unfair practice for any person to aid, abet, encourage, or incite the commission of any unfair practice.
The commission provides the following charts as guidance in avoiding discriminatory language in advertising and recruiting. These are suggested terms only. The commission invites persons who want further assistance to contact commission staff.
(2) Discriminatory language. It is an unfair practice to use any word, term, phrase, or expression that tends to influence, persuade or dissuade, encourage or discourage, attract or repel, any person or persons because of protected status. An exception is if a bona fide occupational qualification applies (please see WAC 162-16-240).
discriminatory terms in advertisements:
suggested substitutes:
Man, woman, girl, boy, lady, etc.
Person, applicant, hiree, one, trainee, or a sex-neutral job title
Cute, handsome, pretty, clean-cut, attractive
Neat, well-groomed, personable, professional appearance
Married, single
No substitutes
Recent graduate, college student (implies preference for youth)
Degree required, Internship
Mother, housewife
Part-time, short hours
Entry level, beginner, trainee
Christian, Jewish, etc.
No substitutes
Interracial, segregated, Black, White, colored, Oriental, Asian, Mexican, minority.
Person, applicant, etc.
Other nondiscriminatory terms: Reliable, responsible, efficient, minimum wages, long hours, overtime, able to travel, willing to relocate.
(3) Job titles. It is an unfair practice to use a discriminatory job title in any help wanted advertisement, job description, job announcement, or any other notice, statement, or publication, unless the employer has shown that a bona fide occupational qualification applies (please see WAC 162-16-240).
The term "discriminatory job title" includes but is not limited to any job title that contains a gender noun or suffix, such as waitress, foreman, salesman, maid, or counter girl. If the use of a gender neutral job title is not practicable, two alternatives are permissible:
(a) The sex specific job title may be used with its counterpart title (e.g., waiter/waitress);
(b) The sex specific title may be used if accompanied by the designation "man or woman," "male or female," or "M-F" (e.g., foreman, man or woman; tailor, male or female; lineman, M-F).
discriminatory job titles:
suggested substitutes:
Server, Cocktail Server
Busboy, tray girl
Busser, Cafeteria Worker
Cleaning woman, cleaning lady
Cleaning Assistant
Drafter, AutoCAD Specialist
Miscellaneous Repairer
Journey Level
Crew, Shift, or Team Leader
Longshore Worker
Domestic Helper, Housekeeper
Maintenance man
Maintenance Worker
Police Officer
Repairer, Technician
Salesman, saleslady, salesgirl
Salesperson, Sales Clerk, Sales Representative
Stewardess, Steward
Flight Attendant, Cabin Attendant
[Statutory Authority: RCW 49.60.120(3). WSR 99-15-025, § 162-16-260, filed 7/12/99, effective 8/12/99.]
Site Contents
Selected content listed in alphabetical order under each group