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 women are protected based on the law. We are committed to promoting policies and laws in Washington state that protect the human rights of womenbased on principles of humanity, justice, and belonging.
Below are laws that protect the human and civil rights of women. Please visit Policy for more information on federal and state laws that protect human rights and outlaw discrimination.
- EEOC https://www.eeoc.gov/
- RCW 49.60.030 Freedom from discrimination—Declaration of civil rights
- Chapter 49.60 RCW, Discrimination—Human Rights Commission
- Chapter 357-25 WAC, Affirmative Action
- Chapter WAC 162-32, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
- Executive Order 12-02, Superseding Executive Order 93-07 Workforce Diversity and Inclusion
- Executive Order 16-04, Reaffirming the Interagency Committee of State Employed Women
- Directive of the Governor 16-11, LGBTQ Inclusion and Safe Places Initiative
- Executive Order 17-01, Reaffirming Washington’s Commitment to Tolerance, Diversity, and Inclusiveness
Laws enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission include:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII)
- The Pregnancy Discrimination Act
- The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA)
- The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA)
- Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
- Sections 102 and 103 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991
- Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA)
Laws recently enforced through legislation in Washington state:
- In 2018 –“The Putting Women First bills"
- House Bill 1506 – Equal Pay
- Senate Bill 6219 – The Reproductive Parity Act
- Senate Bill 5996 – Sexual harassment non-disclosure agreements, encouraging the disclosure and discussion of sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace.
- Senate Bill 6313 – Preserving an employee’s right to publicly file a complaint or cause of action.
In 2020 –
- Senate Bill 5068, Extending Postpartum Care- extend healthcare coverage from 60 days to 12 months postpartum, a critical step to improving maternal health care for Black, Native American, and Alaska Native communities.
- Senate Bill 5313, the Gender Affirming Treatment Act (GATA) – this bill prevents insurance carriers in Washington state from automatically denying medically necessary gender affirming care as cosmetic which would limit access to often life-saving healthcare for trans and non-binary people.
- Paid Family Medical Leave Program (PFML) (began Jan. 1, 2020) - up to 12 weeks of medical leave for pregnant women and up to 12 weeks of family leave. Combined leave cannot exceed 16 total weeks, unless there is a serious, incapacitating health issue related to pregnancy, which adds two more weeks (18 weeks total). Available to all employees, except tribal employees or self-employed individuals who have not opted-in to the Paid Family and Medical Leave program. Federal employees are not eligible.
- Senate Bill 5140 – Effective 7/25/21 Protecting pregnancy and miscarriage-related patient care.
“As women, we must stand up for ourselves. We must stand up for each other. We must stand up for justice for all. Michelle Obama
The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of the truth upon them. Ida B Wells