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Your Rights in Employment and At Work

What are your basic rights in employment and at work?

  • Right to be Free from Harassment: Workers have the right to a workplace free of sexual harassment, and free of discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, national origin, age, family status, sexual orientation, disability or appearance of disability, veteran status, or other protected class. 

  • Right to receive equal pay for equal work: Minimum wage in Washington state is $14.49 per hour. Minimum wage in Seattle is $17.227 per hour if you work for a large company or chain. Higher minimum wages apply for some jobs in SeaTac.

  • Right to receive reasonable accommodations (change the way things are normally done at work) for medical reasons or religious beliefs, if required by law 

  • Right to take sick time: Workers in WA state get 1 hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours of work. You can use your earned sick time if you are sick, need to go to a doctor appointment, need to take care of a sick family member, or for leave related to domestic violence. 

  • Right to medical confidentiality: You have the right to expect that any medical information or genetic information that is shared with employers will be confidential. 

  • Right to report discrimination, participate in investigations of discrimination or lawsuits or oppose discrimination (threaten to file a discrimination complaint, without being retaliated against (punished) for doing so. 

Where to call if you experience discrimination at work

  • King County Civil Rights, Unincorporated (Employed by King County, Metro): (206) 263-2446 

  • WA Human Rights Commission: 1-800-233-3247 

  • WA Department of Labor and Industries: (360) 902-5800  

  • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: 1-800-669-4000 

  • Office of Equity & Human Rights, Tacoma: (253) 591-5045  

  • WA State Office of the Attorney General: (833) 660-4877  

  • Labor Standards: (206) 256-5297 

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