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What is the Human Rights Commission?

Established in 1949 by the Washington State Legislature, the Washington State Human Rights Commission (WSHRC) is a state agency responsible for administering and enforcing the Washington Law Against Discrimination - Chapter 49.60 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW).

What is the WSHRC’s mission?

The mission of the WSHRC is to eliminate and prevent discrimination in Washington State through the fair application of the law, efficient use of resources, and establishment of productive partnerships in the community.

What is the WSHRC’s statutory authority?

Chapter 49.60 RCW is a state law that prohibits discriminatory practices in the areas of employment, places of public resort, accommodation, or amusement, in real estate transactions, and credit and insurance transactions on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, families with children, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, or the presence of any sensory mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability; and prohibits retaliation against persons who oppose a discriminatory practice, and those who file health care and state employee whistleblower complaints.

How does the WSHRC operate?

There are five Commissioners appointed by the Governor, who appoint an Executive Director.  The Executive Director appoints investigative staff, clerks, and other employees as needed to conduct the day-to-day operations of the agency.  The Commissioners provide policy direction, adopt regulations, and meet monthly to pass upon the investigative finding determinations recommended by staff, review and approve settlement agreements, and issue Board Orders setting forth the terms of the legally binding agreements and may vote to grant or deny requests for reconsideration of previously issued investigative findings.   

The right to be free from discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability is recognized as and declared to be a civil right.

RCW 49.60.030: Washington State Law Against Discrimination