WASHINGTON LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION
Washington State has a powerful anti-discrimination law, and the scope of available remedies is equal in magnitude. The WLAD was originally enacted in 1949, and the relevant section, RCW 49.60.030(2), states as follows:
Any person deeming himself or herself injured by any act in violation of this chapter shall have a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction to enjoin further violations, or to recover the actual damages sustained by the person, or both, together with the cost of suit including reasonable attorneys’ fees or any other appropriate remedy authorized by this chapter or the United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended, or the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 3601 et seq.).RCW 49.60.030(2). The WLAD is clearly a broad remedial statute. See Fraternal Order of Eagles, Tenino Aerie No. 564 v. Grand Aerie of Fraternal Order of Eagles, 148 Wn.2d 224, 237, 59 P.3d 655, (2002) (hyperlink added).
REMEDY EXAMPLES (NONEXCLUSIVE)
Accordingly, Washington courts allow a variety of remedies to enable Plaintiffs to be made whole. Such relief may include, but is not limited to, any one or more of the following:
- Enjoin Further Violations (e.g., Injunctive Relief, including, but not limited to, Reinstatement)
- Recover The Actual Damages (e.g., Back Pay, Front Pay, Emotional Distress, Costs, Attorney Fees, etc.)
- Any Other Appropriate Remedy authorized by WLAD, the US Civil Rights Act of 1964, or the Federal Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (e.g., Mental Anguish, Inconvenience, Loss of Enjoyment of Life, Medical Expenses, Tax Set-Off, Expert Witness Fees, etc.)
However, punitive damages are not available under WLAD. See Chuong Van Pham v. City of Seattle, Seattle City Light, 159 Wn.2d 527, 151 P.3d 976, (2007) (citing Dailey v. N. Coast Life Ins. Co., 129 Wash.2d 572, 575, 919 P.2d 589 (1996)).
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.