WLAD: Age Limitation

WLAD: Age Limitation

Under Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), what is the age limitation for aggrieved plaintiffs? Here’s my point of view (NOTE: please read our DISCLAIMER before proceeding).



Under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), it is an unfair practice, with very few exceptions, for an employer to refuse to hire any person, to discharge or bar any person from employment, or to discriminate against any person in compensation or in other terms and conditions of employment because of age (40+); sex (including pregnancy); marital status; sexual orientation (including gender identity); race; color; creed; national origin; honorably discharged veteran or military status; HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C status; the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability; the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability; and state employee or health care whistleblower status.

It is also an unfair practice for an employer to retaliate against an employee because the employee complained about job discrimination or assisted with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.


Pursuant to WLAD, it is unlawful to discriminate based on age, but one must be within the proper age group to claim age discrimination. Generally, Washington’s prohibition against age discrimination is contained in RCW §49.60.205; and that section essentially refers the reader to RCW §49.44.090.  Under this section, it’s an actionable unfair practice for an employer or licensing agency (and, in some circumstances, employment agencies) to unlawfully discriminate (see RCW §49.44.090 for exceptions) against an individual because he/she is forty years of age or older. Thus, it appears that one must be at at least forty years old to claim age discrimination in WA under the WLAD.  


If you would like to learn more, then consider contacting an experienced Washington State Employment Discrimination Attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Please note: the information contained in this article is not offered as legal advice and will not form an attorney-client relationship with either this author or Williams Law Group, PS; please see our DISCLAIMER.


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