Local Laws

 

King County Local Law

 

What are the differences between local and state law?

 

There is no substantive difference between the King County Code (Code) and state Washington Law Against Discrimination.

 

What are the advantages / disadvantages of the local law?

 

One disadvantage of the local law is that it applies only in unincorporated King County (that is, located in King County but not in a city), to the County as an employer, to contractors with King County, and to organizations in County-owned facilities.

 

What is the procedure of filing a local claim?

 

If you feel you have been discriminated against, call the King County Office of Civil Rights to speak with an intake investigator. You must file your complaint with the King County Office for Civil Rights within one hundred eighty (180) days of the incident.

 

What are the remedies under the local law?

 

Under the Code, if the King County Office of Civil Rights finds reasonable cause to believe discrimination has occurred, remedies may include but are not limited to the elimination of the unfair employment practice, back pay, reinstatement and attorney's fees.

 

 

Seattle Local Law

 

 

What are the differences between local and state law?

 

The Seattle Municipal Code (SMC) provides broader coverage than the State of Washington's Law Against Discrimination (WLAD). The SMC also covers more employers than the WLAD. The WLAD covers only employers with eight (8) or more employees while the SMC applies to employers of any size. Unlike the WLAD, the SMC includes protection against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

 

If you choose to use the local ordinance, it will not limit other cause of action otherwise provided. Therefore, any rights or remedies you may have under state or federal law will not be restricted if you use a local ordinance.

 

What are the advantages / disadvantages of the local law?

 

One advantage of the SMC is that it provides broader coverage than the state law or federal law. The SMC covers all employers while the WLAD and Title VII cover employers with eight (8) or fifteen (15) or more employees respectively. The SMC also provides protection against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation not offered under the WLAD or Title VII.

 

However, one disadvantage to the SMC is that it applies only to employers in Seattle and to the City of Seattle as an employer.

 

What is the procedure of filing a local claim?

 

If you feel you have been discriminated against, call the Seattle Office for Civil Rights ("Office") to speak with an investigator. You must file your complaint with the Seattle Office for Civil Rights within one hundred eighty (180) days of the incident.

 

What are the remedies under the local law?

 

Throughout the investigation of your case, the Office will try to help you and your employer reach an agreement that is acceptable to both sides. This is called the Facilitated Resolution Process.

 

If the Office finds reasonable cause to believe discrimination has occurred, they will work with you to determine appropriate remedies for the effects of the discrimination. Examples of remedies include:(1) requiring your employer to repay lost money or benefits, such as wages.(2) requiring your employer to make payments for pain and suffering.(3) drafting settlement terms that serve the public interest, such as requiring management and employees to receive training, or require a company to revise its policies and procedures to protect against discrimination.

 

If your employer refuses to settle the case after a finding of reasonable cause, the Office will refer your case to the City Attorney's office for possible legal action. You may choose to take private legal action at any time during the investigation.

 

 

Spokane Local Law

 

 

What are the differences between local and state law?

 

The Spokane Municipal Code ("Code") includes protection from discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. These forms of discrimination are not covered by the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD).

 

What are the advantages / disadvantages of the local law?

 

One advantage of the Code is that unlike the WLAD and the federal Title VII, the Code includes protection against discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. Another advantage of the local law is that you can file a claim up to one (1) year after the incident whereas under the state law, you must file a claim within six (6) months.

 

One disadvantage of the local law is that it only applies to employers located within the Spokane city limits. Another potential disadvantage of the Code is that it does not constitute a cause of action under state law or form a basis for relief in the state courts. Rather, you must file your claim under local law with the City of Spokane Municipal Court.

 

What is the procedure of filing a local claim?

 

If you feel you have been discriminated against, call the Spokane Human Rights Commission ("Commission") and speak with an intake investigator. You must file your complaint with the Commission within one (1) year of the discriminatory conduct.

 

What are the remedies under the local law?

 

Contact the Spokane Human Rights Commission for more information on potential remedies under the local law.

 

 

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