BILL REQ. #:  S-3398.3 


State of Washington63rd Legislature2014 Regular Session

By Senators Padden, Kline, and Darneille

Read first time 01/24/14.   Referred to Committee on Law & Justice.

     AN ACT Relating to prohibiting discrimination by an individual or entity on the basis of creed; reenacting and amending RCW 49.60.040; and adding a new section to chapter 49.60 RCW.


Sec. 1   RCW 49.60.040 and 2009 c 187 s 3 are each reenacted and amended to read as follows:
     The definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
     (1) "Aggrieved person" means any person who: (a) Claims to have been injured by an unfair practice in a real estate transaction; or (b) believes that he or she will be injured by an unfair practice in a real estate transaction that is about to occur.
     (2) "Any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement" includes, but is not limited to, any place, licensed or unlicensed, kept for gain, hire, or reward, or where charges are made for admission, service, occupancy, or use of any property or facilities, whether conducted for the entertainment, housing, or lodging of transient guests, or for the benefit, use, or accommodation of those seeking health, recreation, or rest, or for the burial or other disposition of human remains, or for the sale of goods, merchandise, services, or personal property, or for the rendering of personal services, or for public conveyance or transportation on land, water, or in the air, including the stations and terminals thereof and the garaging of vehicles, or where food or beverages of any kind are sold for consumption on the premises, or where public amusement, entertainment, sports, or recreation of any kind is offered with or without charge, or where medical service or care is made available, or where the public gathers, congregates, or assembles for amusement, recreation, or public purposes, or public halls, public elevators, and public washrooms of buildings and structures occupied by two or more tenants, or by the owner and one or more tenants, or any public library or educational institution, or schools of special instruction, or nursery schools, or day care centers or children's camps: PROVIDED, That nothing contained in this definition shall be construed to include or apply to any institute, bona fide club, or place of accommodation, which is by its nature distinctly private, including fraternal organizations, though where public use is permitted that use shall be covered by this chapter; nor shall anything contained in this definition apply to any educational facility, columbarium, crematory, mausoleum, or cemetery operated or maintained by a bona fide religious or sectarian institution.
     (3) "Commission" means the Washington state human rights commission.
     (4) "Complainant" means the person who files a complaint in a real estate transaction.
     (5) "Covered multifamily dwelling" means: (a) Buildings consisting of four or more dwelling units if such buildings have one or more elevators; and (b) ground floor dwelling units in other buildings consisting of four or more dwelling units.
     (6) "Credit transaction" includes any open or closed end credit transaction, whether in the nature of a loan, retail installment transaction, credit card issue or charge, or otherwise, and whether for personal or for business purposes, in which a service, finance, or interest charge is imposed, or which provides for repayment in scheduled payments, when such credit is extended in the regular course of any trade or commerce, including but not limited to transactions by banks, savings and loan associations or other financial lending institutions of whatever nature, stock brokers, or by a merchant or mercantile establishment which as part of its ordinary business permits or provides that payment for purchases of property or service therefrom may be deferred.
     (7)(a) "Disability" means the presence of a sensory, mental, or physical impairment that:
     (i) Is medically cognizable or diagnosable; or
     (ii) Exists as a record or history; or
     (iii) Is perceived to exist whether or not it exists in fact.
     (b) A disability exists whether it is temporary or permanent, common or uncommon, mitigated or unmitigated, or whether or not it limits the ability to work generally or work at a particular job or whether or not it limits any other activity within the scope of this chapter.
     (c) For purposes of this definition, "impairment" includes, but is not limited to:
     (i) Any physiological disorder, or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: Neurological, musculoskeletal, special sense organs, respiratory, including speech organs, cardiovascular, reproductive, digestive, genitor-urinary, hemic and lymphatic, skin, and endocrine; or
     (ii) Any mental, developmental, traumatic, or psychological disorder, including but not limited to cognitive limitation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities.
     (d) Only for the purposes of qualifying for reasonable accommodation in employment, an impairment must be known or shown through an interactive process to exist in fact and:
     (i) The impairment must have a substantially limiting effect upon the individual's ability to perform his or her job, the individual's ability to apply or be considered for a job, or the individual's access to equal benefits, privileges, or terms or conditions of employment; or
     (ii) The employee must have put the employer on notice of the existence of an impairment, and medical documentation must establish a reasonable likelihood that engaging in job functions without an accommodation would aggravate the impairment to the extent that it would create a substantially limiting effect.
     (e) For purposes of (d) of this subsection, a limitation is not substantial if it has only a trivial effect.
     (8) "Dog guide" means a dog that is trained for the purpose of guiding blind persons or a dog that is trained for the purpose of assisting hearing impaired persons.
     (9) "Dwelling" means any building, structure, or portion thereof that is occupied as, or designed or intended for occupancy as, a residence by one or more families, and any vacant land that is offered for sale or lease for the construction or location thereon of any such building, structure, or portion thereof.
     (10) "Employee" does not include any individual employed by his or her parents, spouse, or child, or in the domestic service of any person.
     (11) "Employer" includes any person acting in the interest of an employer, directly or indirectly, who employs eight or more persons, and does not include any religious or sectarian organization not organized for private profit.
     (12) "Employment agency" includes any person undertaking with or without compensation to recruit, procure, refer, or place employees for an employer.
     (13) "Families with children status" means one or more individuals who have not attained the age of eighteen years being domiciled with a parent or another person having legal custody of such individual or individuals, or with the designee of such parent or other person having such legal custody, with the written permission of such parent or other person. Families with children status also applies to any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of eighteen years.
     (14) "Full enjoyment of" includes the right to purchase any service, commodity, or article of personal property offered or sold on, or by, any establishment to the public, and the admission of any person to accommodations, advantages, facilities, or privileges of any place of public resort, accommodation, assemblage, or amusement, without acts directly or indirectly causing persons of any particular race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, or with any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability, to be treated as not welcome, accepted, desired, or solicited.
     (15) "Honorably discharged veteran or military status" means a person who is:
     (a) A veteran, as defined in RCW 41.04.007; or
     (b) An active or reserve member in any branch of the armed forces of the United States, including the national guard, coast guard, and armed forces reserves.
     (16) "Labor organization" includes any organization which exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning grievances or terms or conditions of employment, or for other mutual aid or protection in connection with employment.
     (17) "Marital status" means the legal status of being married, single, separated, divorced, or widowed.
     (18) "National origin" includes "ancestry."
     (19) "Person" includes one or more individuals, partnerships, associations, organizations, corporations, cooperatives, legal representatives, trustees and receivers, or any group of persons; it includes any owner, lessee, proprietor, manager, agent, or employee, whether one or more natural persons; and further includes any political or civil subdivisions of the state and any agency or instrumentality of the state or of any political or civil subdivision thereof.
     (20) "Premises" means the interior or exterior spaces, parts, components, or elements of a building, including individual dwelling units and the public and common use areas of a building.
     (21) "Real estate transaction" includes the sale, appraisal, brokering, exchange, purchase, rental, or lease of real property, transacting or applying for a real estate loan, or the provision of brokerage services.
     (22) "Real property" includes buildings, structures, dwellings, real estate, lands, tenements, leaseholds, interests in real estate cooperatives, condominiums, and hereditaments, corporeal and incorporeal, or any interest therein.
     (23) "Respondent" means any person accused in a complaint or amended complaint of an unfair practice in a real estate transaction.
     (24) "Service animal" means an animal that is trained for the purpose of assisting or accommodating a sensory, mental, or physical disability of a person with a disability.
     (25) "Sex" means gender.
     (26) "Sexual orientation" means heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender expression or identity. As used in this definition, "gender expression or identity" means having or being perceived as having a gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression, whether or not that gender identity, self-image, appearance, behavior, or expression is different from that traditionally associated with the sex assigned to that person at birth.
     (27) "Creed" has the same meaning as provided in Article I, section 11 of the state Constitution.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   A new section is added to chapter 49.60 RCW to read as follows:
     An individual or entity may not discriminate against another individual on the basis of creed in regard to the protected practices under this chapter. Discrimination against an individual on the basis of creed includes not making reasonable accommodations for the known creed or religious observance, practice, and belief of an individual; unless the individual or entity involved in the provision of a reasonable accommodation can demonstrate that the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the operation or business of the individual or entity. An undue hardship means an action requiring significant difficulty or expense when considered in light of the following factors including, but not limited to:
     (1) The nature and cost of the necessary accommodation;
     (2) The overall financial resources of the individual or entity involved in the provision of the accommodation;
     (3) The effect on the operation or business of the individual or entity involved in the provision of the accommodation.

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