Legal Authority

Honoring humanity creates an equitable and just society.

Often, in the United States, the guarantee of human rights starts with recognition in the law. The Washington State Office of Equity champions equity and justice for everyone in the state, working to ensure that the civil rights of immigrants are protected based on the law. We are committed to promoting policies and laws in Washington state that protect the human rights of immigrant residents based on principles of humanity, justice, and belonging. 

Gavel and scales of justice

Below are laws that protect the human and civil rights of immigrants. Please visit Policy (insert link to Policy landing page) for more information on federal and state laws that protect human rights and outlaw discrimination.

  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in various aspects of employment on the basis of race, color or national origin.
  • Executive Order 11246 prohibits covered federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating on the basis of national origin as well as race, color, religion and sex, and requires affirmative action to ensure equal employment opportunity.
  • The Immigration and Nationality Act prohibits employers from discriminating because of national origin or citizenship status.
  • Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998  prohibits discrimination against applicants, employees and participants in WIA Title I-financially assisted programs and activities, and programs that are part of the One-Stop system, on the ground of national origin.
  • RCW 49.60.030 Freedom from discrimination—Declaration of civil rights.
  • Executive Order 17-01, February 2017, Issued by Governor Jay Inslee – Reaffirming Washington’s Commitment to Tolerance, Diversity, and Inclusiveness.
  • Executive Order 21-01, February 2021, Issued by Governor Jay Inslee – Affirming Washington State Business Resource Groups
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Our attitude towards immigration reflects our faith in the American ideal. We have always believed it possible for men and women who start at the bottom to rise as far as the talent and energy allow. Neither race nor place of birth should affect their chances. Robert F. Kennedy