Legal Authority

Honoring humanity creates an equitable and just society.

Portrait of a young Hispanic woman seated
Portrait of a Hispanic man outdoors

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 Latinos are protected based on the law. We are committed to promoting policies and laws in Washington state that protect the human rights of Latino residents based on principles of humanity, justice, and belonging. 

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

Executive Orders and Proclamation

  • Executive Order 13583, August, 18, 2011, Issued by President Obama –– Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce
  • Executive Order 13555, October 19, 2010, Issued by President Obama –– White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
  • Executive Order 13171, October 12, 2000, Issued by President Clinton –– Hispanic Employment in the Federal Government
  • Sixteen-Point Federal Employment Plan, 1970, Issued by President Nixon –– issued a comprehensive Plan aimed at increasing Hispanic representation in the Federal workforce. In 1973, the 16-point plan was renamed “Spanish-Speaking Program” to emphasize bilingual skills; and in 1978, the program was again renamed to what it is known as today, the “Hispanic Employment Program” (HEP).
  • Congressional Action, Pub. L. No. 100-402 and Presidential Proclamation, August 17,1988, Issued by President Ronald Reagan –– Declared September 15 to October 15 as National Hispanic Heritage Month.
  • Presidential Executive Order, 1968, Issued by President Lyndon Johnson –– Declared Hispanic Heritage Week. 
We have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice exists for all, both legal and economic justice. Sonia Sotomayor