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This is not legal advice, which can only be given by an attorney admitted to practice law in your jurisdiction after hearing all of the facts and circumstances in a particular case.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

News: King County, WA Civil-rights protection OK'd for transgender individuals

The Metropolitan Council of King County, Washington added gender identity to its anti-discrimination laws last night. The 5-4 vote was drawn along partisan lines. It should be noted that Washington State passed an anti-discrimination law on January 27, 2006 that includes gender identity, so this measure simply reiterates the state-wide protection. Immediately after the passage of the state-wide measure, however, a referendum and an initiative were filed to overturn it. That measure is due to be voted on this fall. If it passes, then there will be no more state-wide protection, and the King County law will be of primary importance.

King County includes Seattle, which already has a similar measure, and outlying suburbs which play host to Boeing.


Anonymous said...

I don't see Boeing on the list as one of the companies including gender identity protection. Will this new law require them to join the list?

Dr. Jillian Todd Weiss said...

No, Boeing does not have to add "gender identity" to its policy. It's important to note that anti-discrimination law rarely requires companies to create corresponding anti-discrimination policy (though I heard that California law does have such a requirement). After the Civil Rights Act of 1964, however, when companies were successfully sued for employment discrimination, things began to change. Savvy companies included public statements that company policy prohibits illegal discrimination. This allowed them to argue in court that any discriminatory action was accomplished by a rogue employee, acting against Company policy. The failure to include such a policy statement is not, however, illegal or presumptive of illegal intent.